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Code Grep and Vi Grepped
cg, vg - tools for finding and modifying on keywords
Joshua Uziel <> - March 13, 2002 - version 1.6.2
[Note: the below is historical... SCO released cscope under a BSD
license several months ago (, which
I also work on. This doesn't mean cgvg isn't useful anymore... I
personally still use it, and I'm happy to have it... maybe you'll
find use in it as well.]
All too often I need to dig through source code. Where something
is defined, used, what files, etc. There's a great tool for doing
this from AT&T called "cscope" and a very alpha free clone of it
called "cs" (that doesn't look like it's being actively worked
on) that does this. There are some alternatives... like ctags
and etags for instance... but these only take you to where something
is defined... not wherever it is used, which makes it frustrating
when, for example, you're at the definition of a function and
instead want to see who and what use that function.
So, as a quick hack, mostly for myself, I started writing up some
perl scripts (I consciously chose perl, but considered other
languages first). One script, "cg", does the equivalent of a find
and grep, storing matches and then displaying it in a human-friendly
manner. Run it like so:
[11:14pm] tux:/usr/src/linux/fs> cg ext2_permission
0 ext2/acl.c 22 * ext2_permission ()
1 ext2/acl.c 26 int ext2_permission (struct inode * inode, int mask)
2 ext2/dir.c 74 ext2_permission, /* permission */
3 ext2/file.c 102 ext2_permission, /* permission */
So, you see in the first column, we have a count, the second column
is the filename, the third column is the line number, and after that
is what it found on that line. This gets stored in your home directory
in a log file, so that if you want to see it again, all you have to
do is type "cg" to view it again. Also stored in the first line is
the pwd of where your inquiry was run from, so you that won't have
to be there to do the second half of this kit.
There are several ways of running "cg". Again, "cg" alone recalls the
last search. You can also run it like "cg pattern", and it'll search
recursively for all default patterns. To that, you can add arguments
like "-i" for case insensitive like "cg -i pattern". If you don't want
to use the default searching, you can specify where to search and run
like grep(1). For example, running "cg pattern '*.c'" will check all .c
files recursively. If you want to search all files, you can use "cg
pattern '*'". Note that the quotes (single or double, it doesn't
matter) are recommended because otherwise the shell expands it before it
gets to perl, so the search would not be recursive. It of course works
like this as well. This script also supports coloring and bolding options
which are both hardcoded and customizable per-user with a ~/.cgvgrc file.
Also among "cg"'s capabilities is a "colon mode" for printing
as well as a built-in pager. The pager allows for colors while
paging (that "more" or "less" can't deal with), as well as allowing
one to go back or launch an editor directly using our other script...
The other script is called "vg" and opens an editor on what has been
grepped (most editors work). So remember that count? All you
have to do is run "vg count" and it'll fire off a editor in that file
and at that line number. So, in our example, running "vg 1" would
open up an editing session on fs/ext2/acl.c at line 26.
It is the storing of the query in the logfiles that allows cg and vg
to work together. Also, the reason for the ability to see the
results of the previous query is there because we can, and because
quite often you may want to revisit the last query, so why do an
expensive grep operation again? The logfile is stored in a file
of the form $HOSTNAME.shell_pid in your ~/.cgvg/ directory. This
is so that different shells will have different logs. Also, a
symbolic link to your last search is kept as ~/.cglast, and any
terminal that doesn't have a log associated with it will default
to the last search. Using the last log instead of the one with
the present terminal is doable with the '-l' option.
Now true that these scripts are very much hacks, but they at least
provide me with the functionality that I was looking for in a very
smal amount of time. They're not as feature-rich or precise as
cscope is, but at the same time are simple to use and are not
language-specific (cscope only knows C and not C++, java or perl
for example).
Used with something like ctags, this can hopefully save you a lot
of time. Feel free to send me comments or suggestions...
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