Facebook PathPicker is a simple command line tool that solves the perpetual problem of selecting files out of bash output. PathPicker will:
- Parse all incoming lines for entries that look like files
- Present the piped input in a convenient selector UI
- Allow you to either:
- Edit the selected files in your favorite
- Execute an arbitrary command with them
- Edit the selected files in your favorite
It is easiest to understand by watching a simple demo:
After installing PathPicker, using it is as easy as piping into
fpp. It takes
a wide variety of input -- try it with all the options below:
git status | fpp
hg status | fpp
git grep "FooBar" | fpp
grep -r "FooBar" . | fpp
git diff HEAD~1 --stat | fpp
find . -iname "*.js" | fpp
arc inlines | fpp
and anything else you can dream up!
PathPicker requires Python 3.
- Bash is fully supported and works the best.
- ZSH is supported as well, but won't have a few features like alias expansion in command line mode.
- csh/fish/rc are supported in the latest version, but might have quirks or issues in older versions of PathPicker. Note: if your default shell and current shell is not in the same family (bash/zsh... v.s. fish/rc), you need to manually export environment variable
$SHELLto your current shell.
Installing PathPicker is easiest with Homebrew for mac:
brew update(to pull down the recipe since it is new)
brew install fpp
On Debian-based systems, run these steps: fakeroot:
$ git clone https://github.com/facebook/PathPicker.git $ cd PathPicker/debian $ ./package.sh $ ls ../pathpicker_*_all.deb
On Arch Linux, PathPicker can be installed from Arch User Repository (AUR). (The AUR fpp-git package.)
If you are on another system, or prefer manual installation, please follow the instructions given below.
If you are on a system without Homebrew, it's still quite easy to install PathPicker, since it's essentially just a bash script that calls some Python. These steps more-or-less outline the process:
cd /usr/local/ # or wherever you install apps
git clone https://github.com/facebook/PathPicker.git
Here we create a symbolic link from the bash script in the repo
/usr/local/bin/ which is assumed to be in the current
ln -s "$(pwd)/fpp" /usr/local/bin/fpp
fpp --help # should work!
For tmux users, you can additionally install
tmux-fpp which adds a key combination to run PathPicker on the last received
This makes jumping into file selection mode even easier. (Check it out here!)
As mentioned above, PathPicker allows you to also execute arbitrary commands using the specified files.
Here is an example showing a
git checkout command executed against the selected files:
The selected files are appended to the command prefix to form the final command. If you need the files
in the middle of your command, you can use the
$F token instead, like:
cat $F | wc -l
Another important note is that PathPicker, by default, only selects files that exist on the filesystem. If you
want to skip this (perhaps to selected deleted files in
git status), just run PathPicker with the
-nfc, for short) flag.
How PathPicker works
PathPicker is a combination of a bash script and some small Python modules. It essentially has three steps:
- Firstly, the bash script redirects all standards out into a python module that
parses and extracts out filename candidates. These candidates are extracted with a series of
regular expressions, since the input to PathPicker can be any
stdoutfrom another program. Rather than make specialized parsers for each program, we treat everything as noisy input, and select candidates via regexes. To limit the number of calls to the filesystem (to check existence), we are fairly restrictive on the candidates we extract.
The downside to this is that files that are single words, with no extension (like
test), that are not prepended by
a directory will fail to match. This is a known limitation to PathPicker, and means that it will sometimes fail to find valid files in the input.
Next, a selector UI built with
cursesis presented to the user. At this point you can select a few files to edit, or input a command to execute.
Lastly, the python script outputs a command to a bash file that is later executed by the original bash script.
It's not the most elegant architecture in the world but, in our opinion, it provides a lot of utility.
Documentation & Configuration
For all documentation and configuration options, see the output of
Join the PathPicker community
See the CONTRIBUTING.md file for how to help out.
PathPicker is MIT licensed.