Right now I am running MC from the Slackware-current package
mc-20100206_git-i486-1, installed on March 2. It would seem by the name to
be a fairly recent version, but might not be precisely equivalent to any
release version. Some of the things which I describe below might have been
recently fixed. But I just had to confront two of the three problems
described below for the n-plus-first time since March 2, and I am having a
reaction about it.
Three problems now exist with searching, both for files and for content of
files, and for years these problems did not exist.
The F9 menu gives a "Find file" option. For some reason which eludes my
understanding, someone has configured that not merely to search for a
file. Oh no, that would be too simple. Nowadays, "Find file" wants to
search not only for the file that I name, but to do a search for content,
too, at the same time. And the content that it pulls out from somewhere
and expects to search for does not have anything to do with any previous
use of "Find file" either, because I have never voluntarily wanted to use
"Find file" for any such thing. What exactly is the matter with letting
someone do a simple search for a file by name, and not trying to make the
simple and obvious to be complicated instead?
Behavior of content search within a file using "/" or F7 seems to me to
have been seriously degraded from what for years used to "just work."
Suppose I am searching through a file for the occurrence of a specific
word or phrase. I might be curious for example that how many times it
occurs in the file, and where it occurs. In fact, I would often consider
that to be useful information. Why, oh why is it considered a clever new
feature that the search now wraps and starts over again from the top of
the file? And without asking me if I want to do that, or warning me that
it is going to do that? Particularly when one of the options for the
search consists of a box that one can check, to search the file backwards?
Does the backwards search wrap, too, but backwards??? There is no visible
option to check which can be kept permanent, to restore sanity. And why
should one need an option to restore sanity when things could easily have
been kept the way they used to be, which worked just fine. I mean, this is
a desktop or console file manager and not Firefox, where wrapping a search
might be considered a good and clever idea. No, MC is a tool that lots of
people use to get work done. This is not even to mention the apparent
un-asked-for mixing together of a past content search within a single file
somehow into the next use of the "Find file" function (Problem 1).
This is not a new one. I have mentioned it before on this list but somehow
it has not been fixed. Namely, the two options F7 and "/" in the good old
days used to work separately, but now they work together. In the good old
days, which lasted for well over a decade, it was possible to open a file
for viewing using F3, and then to search the same file for "foo" using F3
and for "bar" using "/". If one would stop and think about it, this might
indeed be a useful feature. I for one used to use it on routine basis. Now
for several versions of MC this no longer works. If one searches for "foo"
using either one of these search commands and then wants to start up the
other one and search for "bar" then the first one will quit searching for
"foo" and will also search for "bar." This is not an improvement, but is a
step backwards, instead.
Now, I should say something good because otherwise whoever concocted these
new "features" which broke old functionality and ease of use will be
upset. So let me say that another thing I found very frustrating did get
fixed in the release I am using. Namely, during several recent versions of
MC the content search functions F7 and "/" were forgetting what one was
searching for if one closed one file and opened another, and one had to
fill out the search window all over again. This is fixed, and it works
just like it did in the good old days before improvements were attempted
on the search functions. Whoever fixed this, thanks.
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