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Date: Thu, 6 Sep 2012 09:35:33 +0200
From: magnum <>
Subject: Re: bash completion on OSX

On 6 Sep, 2012, at 7:50 , Frank Dittrich <> wrote:

> On 09/06/2012 12:50 AM, magnum wrote:
>> Frank,
>> While looking into getting bash completion working on OSX, I get this:
>> $ . /usr/local/etc/bash_completion.d/john.bash_completion 
>> bash: /usr/local/etc/bash_completion.d/john.bash_completion: line 159: syntax error near unexpected token `('
>> bash: /usr/local/etc/bash_completion.d/john.bash_completion: line 159: `		-?(-)f?(o|or|orm|orma|ormat)+(=|:)dynamic*)'
> Please post the output of
> $ shopt -p extglob

The answer is "shopt -u extglob" in both versions.

> Looks like bash's extended pattern matching features are not enabled on OSX.
> The requirement is documented close to the begin of the script:
> # This bash completion script requires bash version >= 4,
> # and extended pattern matching features enabled. If
> #       shopt -p extglob
> # prints
> #       shopt -s extglob
> # then the extended pattern matching features enabled. If this command
> # prints
> #       shopt -u extglob
> # then they are disabled.

Now I feel like a dork :)

> May be I should add a similar comment close to the first syntax error
> that occurs when extended pattern matching is disabled.
> I do not suggest enabling it, because I don't know what negative side
> effects it would have.
> The correct solution for the problem is not to hard code all the
> possible abbreviations of individual options.
> Instead, I should create a look-up table which maps all unique
> abbreviated option names to their long names, then use the long names
> instead of pattern which might not be supported in all environments.

Would it still need bash >=4? The first file sourced for git completion has this:

# Check for recent enough version of bash.
bash=${BASH_VERSION%.*}; bmajor=${bash%.*}; bminor=${bash#*.}
if [ $bmajor -gt 4 ] || [ $bmajor -eq 4 -a $bminor -ge 1 ]; then
    [ -r "${XDG_CONFIG_HOME:-$HOME/.config}/bash_completion" ] && \
        . "${XDG_CONFIG_HOME:-$HOME/.config}/bash_completion"
    if shopt -q progcomp && [ -r /opt/local/share/bash-completion/bash_completion ]; then
        # Source completion code.
        . /opt/local/share/bash-completion/bash_completion

This suggests git even needs >= 4.1. But that completion works so maybe it does not need extglob.

> Can you test if bash's syntax check complains about
> --restore|--status)
> as well (if you comment out or delete the
> -?(-)f?(o|or|orm|orma|ormat)+(=|:)*)
> and subsequent lines?

bash: _get_comp_words_by_ref: command not found
sed: 1: "{ s#^ *\(--[a-z-]*=\?\( ...": bad flag in substitute command: '}'

This error is run-time (happens when I press TAB). Actually, I now enabled git completion which apparently in turn enables globbing. After that, sourcing the pristine john completion file works fine, but I now get a similar run-time error:

bash-4.2$ ../run/john[TAB] sed: 1: "{ s#^ *\(--[a-z-]*=\?\( ...": bad flag in substitute command: '}'


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