ack = a better grep "ignores most of the crap you don't want to search"23 Aug 2010
If you’ve ever use grep to search a svn directory you’ll know the issues re .svn folders, easiest solution is to use ack
ack is a tool like grep, optimized for programmers Andy Lester http://betterthangrep.com
How to install
curl http://betterthangrep.com/ack-standalone > ~/bin/ack &&; chmod 0755 !#:3
Top reasons to use ack instead of grep
- It’s blazingly fast because it only searches the stuff you want searched.
- ack is pure Perl, so it runs on Windows just fine.
- The standalone version uses no non-standard modules, so you can put it in your ~/bin without fear.
- Searches recursively through directories by default, while ignoring .svn, CVS and other VCS directories.
- ack ignores most of the crap you don’t want to search
- VCS directories
- blib, the Perl build directory
- backup files like foo~ and #foo#
- binary files, core dumps, etc
- Ignoring .svn directories means that ack is faster than grep for searching through trees
- Lets you specify file types to search, as in –perl or –nohtml
ack -f --perl > all-perl-files
- Color highlighting of search results
Which would you rather type?
$ grep pattern $(find . -type f | grep -v '\.svn')
$ ack pattern
grep pattern $(find . -name '*.pl' -or -name '*.pm' -or -name '*.pod' | grep -v .svn)
ack --perl pattern
- Note that ack’s
--perlalso checks the shebang lines of files without suffixes, which the find command will not