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In terms of core features, ripgrep is totally there. It searches fast. It ignores files pretty accurately. It outputs results in a pleasant and useful format. If a new user tries rg, they'll be very happy.

My warning about the feature differences was meant to temper ag users' expectations. There are lots of little things that ag users are accustomed to that are either different or missing in ripgrep. Off the top of my head: Ag reads the user's global gitignore. (This is harder than most people think.) It detects stdout redirects such as "ag blah > output.txt" and ignores output.txt. It can search gz and xz files. It defaults to smart-case searching. It can limit a search to one hardware device (--one-device), avoiding slow reads on network mounts. And as a commenter already pointed out, it supports the --pager option. Taken together, all those small differences are likely to cause an average ag user some grief. I wanted to manage expectations so that users wouldn't create annoying "issues" (really, feature requests) on your GitHub repo. Sorry if that came off the wrong way.

On a completely unrelated note: I see ripgrep supports .rgignore files, similar to how ag supports .agignore. It'd be nice if we could combine forces and choose a single filename for this purpose. That way when the next search tool comes along, it can use the same thing instead of .zzignore or whatever. It would also make it easier for users to switch between our tools. I'd suggest a generic name like ".ignore" or ".ignores", but I'm sure some tool creates such files or directories already.

Edit: Actually, it looks like .ignore can work. The only examples I've found of .ignore files are actual files containing ignore patterns.

You raise good points, thank you. I hope to support some of those features, since they seem like nice conveniences.

In principle I'd be fine standardizing on a common ignore file. We'd need to come up with a format (I think I'd vote for "do what gitignore does", since I think that's what we're both doing now anyway).

Adding files to this list is kind of a bummer though. I could probably get away with replacing `.rgignore` proper, but I suspect you'd need to add it without replacing `.agignore`, or else those angry users you were talking about might show themselves. :-)

I do kind of like `.grepignore` since `grep` has kind of elevated itself to "search tool" as a term, but I can see how that would be confusing. `.searchignore` feels too long. `.ignore` and `.ignorerc` feel a bit too generic, but either seems like the frontrunner at the moment.

I also vote for "do what gitignore does". My plan is to add support for the new file name, deprecate .agignore, and update docs everywhere. But it'd be a while before I removed .agignore completely.

I really like .ignore, and I like it because it's generic. The information I want it to convey is:

> Dear programs,

> If you are traversing this directory, please ignore these things.

Of course, some programs could still benefit from having application-specific ignore files, but it'd cut down on a lot of cruft and repetition.

…and merged: https://github.com/ggreer/the_silver_searcher/pull/974

I'll tag a new release in a day or two. Also, it looks like the sift author is getting on the .ignore train: https://github.com/svent/sift/issues/78#issuecomment-2493352...

This worked out pretty well. :)

This is probably the best case of out-in-the-open open source developers of similar-but-different tools collaborating on a new standard and implementing them in record time that I have ever seen.

Keep it up all (rg/ag/sift)!

I completely agree. That was one of the most reasonable and level-headed discussions between strangers I have _ever_ seen on the Internet!

I really like .grepignore as it is generic enough to encompass all tools which have grep-like functionality while never stepping on the feet of other programs that may also require ignore files that may be different than the .grepignore.

The problem is that grep will never obey .grepignore. That's so confusing as to be a deal-breaker.

Also, what about programs that have search functionality as part of their design, but not as their core function? For example, I don't want my text editor to search .min.js files. I'd even prefer it if such files didn't show up in my editor's sidebar. Do I have to add *.min.js to .searchignore and .atomignore? (Or if the editor people ever work out a standard, maybe it will be .editorignore.)

If I had to draw a Venn diagram of ignore patterns in my text editors, my search tools, and my rsync scripts, they'd mostly overlap. I don't deny the need for application-specific ignores, but there is a large class of applications that could benefit from a more generic ignore file.

I do think it would be better to have the name at least reflect that class of applications, maybe "searchignore" like someone else suggested. There may be overlap but it's hard to predict all the types of applications people are using that need ignore functionality and something as simple as backing things up with rsync would seem like an example where someone could well want considerably different ignores.

I'd say that .ignore is too generic a name. What is to be ignored by what?

But I like the idea of standardizing this. Perhaps the cache directory tagging standard gives some inspiration.


.gignore? .ignore is way too generic. .gignore as in grep ignore, rg ignore, ag ignore, they all have a g in their names somewhere. Well, ack doesn't but what kind of name is that anyway; it sounds like someone (the author?) got annoyed with grep's lack of pcre. .gignore seems generic enough, yet specific for these tools. Expecting a single .ignore file to rule them all text search tools is rather too optimistic.

May be .searchignore?


> detects stdout redirects

Is there a portable way for you to find out that stdout is connected to output.txt? isatty() only tells you that there may be a redirection and I suppose on linux you could use /proc/self/fd/1 but I don't know how to do it portably.

If output is redirected, ag calls fstat on stdout and records the inode. It then ignores files based on inode rather than path:


Could I suggest .ignorerc?

I would immediately intuit that such a file is a (r)untime (c)onfiguration for ignoring something.

.ignore isn't... bad, it just looks like something I can safely delete, like a file styled `such-and-such~`

If you're taking the time to create a .ignore file and set up personally-relevant regexps, I doubt you'll forget. (You'll probably also have it versioned.)

What I like about '.ignore' is that it's not tied to grep (which will never use it) but expresses that the concept is agnostic. You can imagine lots of programs supporting it.

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