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Release Notes

Upgrade to 8.0

Notable changes are minor and will affect very few. This should clarify breaking changes and how to migrate if applicable.

WcMatch class Initialization Hook

The WcMatch class on_init hook was cleaned up. Prior to 8.0, it accepted both *args and **kwargs which is quite difficult to maintain and honestly for users to use.

Moving forward, the WcMatch class will restrict all parameters to **kwargs. If you are using the on_init hook, you will simply need to change your override to accept arguments as **kwargs:

# Excplicitly named
def on_init(self, key1=value, key2=value):

# Or just use `**kwargs`
def on_init(self, **kwargs):

Lastly, only pass your custom variables in as keyword arguments:

CustomWcmatch('.', '*.md|*.txt', flags=wcmatch.RECURSIVE, custom_key=value)

Upgrade to 7.0

Notable changes will be highlighted here to help with migration to 7.0.

Globbing Special Directories

File globbing with glob.glob, glob.iglob, pathlib.path.glob, and pathlib.Path.rglob no longer inject . and .. into results when scanning directories. This only affects the results of a scanned directory and does not fundamentally change how glob patterns evaluate a path.

Python's default glob does not return . or .. for any "magic" (non-literal) patterns in glob. This is because magic patterns trigger glob to iterate over a directory in an attempt to find a file that can match the given "magic" pattern. Since . and .. are not returned by Python's implementation of scandir, . and .. never get evaluated. Literal patterns can side step the directory iteration with a simple check to see if the file exists. What this means is that a "magic" pattern of .* will not match . or .., because it is not returned in the scan, but a literal pattern of . or .. will as the literal patterns are simply checked to see if they exist.

This is common behavior for a number of libraries, Python, [node-glob], etc., but not all. Moving forward, we have chosen to adopt the Python's behavior as our default behavior, with the option of forcing Bash's behavior of returning . and .. in a directory scan if desired.

These examples will illustrate the behavior. In the first example, Python's pathlib is used to glob a directory. We can note that not a single entry in the results is . or ...

>>> import pathlib
>>> list(pathlib.Path('.').glob('.*'))
[PosixPath('.DS_Store'), PosixPath('.codecov.yml'), PosixPath('.tox'), PosixPath('.coverage'), PosixPath('.coveragerc'), PosixPath('.gitignore'), PosixPath('.github'), PosixPath('.pyspelling.yml'), PosixPath('.git')]

We can also show that if we search for the literal pattern of .. that glob will then return .. in the results.

>>> import pathlib
>>> list(pathlib.Path('.').glob('..'))

When using the match function, we see that the pattern can match .. just fine. This illustrates that it is not the pattern logic that restricts this, but a result of the behavior exhibited by scandir.

>>> import pathlib
>>> pathlib.Path('..').match('.*')

While our algorithm is different due to some of the features we support, and it may oversimplify things to say we now turn off injecting . and .. into scandir results, but for all intents and purposes, all of our file system globbing functions exhibit the same behavior as Python's default glob now.

>>> from wcmatch import glob
>>> glob.glob('.*')
['.DS_Store', '.codecov.yml', '.tox', '.coverage', '.coveragerc', '.gitignore', '.github', '.pyspelling.yml', '.git']
>>> glob.glob('..')
>>> glob.globmatch('..', '.*')

Because this change only affects how files are returned when iterating the directories, we can notice that exclude patterns, which are used to filter the results, can match . or .. with .*:

>>> from wcmatch import glob
>>> glob.glob('..')
>>> glob.glob(['..', '!.*'], flags=glob.NEGATE)

If we want to modify the pattern matcher, and not just the the directory scanner, we can use the flag NODITDIR.

>>> from wcmatch import glob
>>> glob.glob(['..', '!.*'], flags=glob.NEGATE | glob.NODOTDIR)
>>> glob.glob(['..', '!..'], flags=glob.NEGATE | glob.NODOTDIR)

These changes were done for a couple of reasons:

  1. Generally, it is rare to specifically want . and .., so often when people glob with something like **/.*, they are just trying to get hidden files. While we generally model our behavior off Bash, there are many alternative shells (such as Zsh) that do not return or match . and .. with magic patterns by design, regardless of what directory scanner returns.

  2. Many people who come to use our library are probably coming from having experience with Python's glob. By mirroring this behavior out of the box, it may help people adapt to the library easier.

  3. Python's pathlib, which Wildcard Match's pathlib is derived from, normalizes paths by stripping out . directories and trimming off trailing slashes. This means patterns such as **/.*, which would normally match both .hidden and .hidden/., would normalize those results to return two .hidden results. Mirroring this behavior helps provide more sane results and prevent confusing duplicates when using pathlib.

  4. This is not unique behavior to Python's glob and our implementation. For example, let's take a look at node-glob and its underlying match library called minimatch.

    > glob('.*', {}, function (er, files) {
    ... console.log(files)
    ... })
    > [

    We also see that the file matching library has no issues matching . or .. with .*.

    > minimatch("..", ".*")

    We can also see that ignore patterns, just like our ignore patterns, are applied to the results, and are unaffected by the underlying behavior of the directory scanner:

    > glob('..', {}, function (er, files) {
    ... console.log(files)
    ... })
    > [ '..' ]
    > glob('..', {ignore: ['.*']}, function (er, files) {
    ... console.log(files)
    ... })
    > []

For the majority of people, this is most likely an improvement rather than a hindrance, but if the old behavior is desired, you can use the new option SCANDOTDIR which restores the logic that emulates the feel of scandir returning . and .. when iterating a directory.

Due to the way pathlib normalizes paths, SCANDOTDIR is not recommended to be used with pathlib.

Windows Drive Handling

It is not practical to scan a system for all mounted drives and available network paths. Just like with Python's default globbing, we do not scan all available drives, and so wildcard patterns do not apply to these drives. Unfortunately, our implementation used to only handle very basic UNC cases, and if patterns with extended UNC paths were attempted, failure was likely.

7.0 brings improvements related to Windows drives and UNC paths. Glob patterns will now properly respect extended UNC paths such as //?/UNC/LOCALHOST/c$ and others. This means you can use these patterns without issues. And just like simple cases (//server/mount), extended cases do not require escaping meta characters, except when using pattern expansion syntax that is available via BRACE and SPLIT.

Glob Escaping

Because it can be problematic trying to mix Windows drives that use characters such as { and } with the BRACE flag, you can now escape these meta characters in drives if required. Prior to 7.0, such escaping was disallowed, but now you can safely escape { and } to ensure optimal brace handling. While you can safely escape other meta characters in drives as well, it is never actually needed.

Additionally, glob.escape and glob.raw_escape will automatically escape {, } and | to avoid complications with BRACE and SPLIT.

In general, a lot of corner cases with glob.escape and glob.raw_escape were cleaned up.

glob.escape is meant to handle the escaping of normal paths so that they can be used in patterns.

>>> glob.escape(r'my\file-[work].txt', unix=False)
If you are accepting an input from a source that is giving you a representation of a Python string (where \ is represented by two \), then glob.raw_escape is what you want:

>>> glob.raw_escape(r'my\\file-[work].txt', unix=False)

By default, glob.raw_escape always translates Python character back references into actual characters, but if this is not needed, a new option called raw_chars (True by default) has been added to disable this behavior:

>>> glob.raw_escape(r'my\\file-\x31.txt', unix=False)
>>> glob.raw_escape(r'my\\file-\x31.txt', unix=False, raw_chars=False)

Reduction of pathlib Duplicate Results

In general, glob should return only unique results for a single inclusive pattern (exclusion patterns are not considered). If given multiple patterns, or if given a pattern that is expanded into multiple via BRACE or SPLIT, then duplicate results are actually possible.

In 6.0, logic to strip redundant patterns and to filter out duplicate results was added. This deduping is performed by default if more than a single inclusive pattern is provided, even if they are indirectly provided via pattern expansion. The NOUNIQUE flag disables this behavior if desired.

In general, this works well, but due to pathlib's path normalization quirks, there were cases where duplicate results would still be returned for multiple patterns, and even a case where duplicates were returned for a single pattern.

Due to pathlib file path normalization, . directories are stripped out, and trailing slashes are stripped off paths. With the changes noted in Globbing single pattern cases no longer return duplicate paths, but results across multiple patterns still could. For instance, it is possible that three different patterns, provided at the same time (or through pattern expansion) could match the following paths: file/./path, file/path/., and file/path. Each of these results are unique as far as glob is concerned, but due to the pathlib normalization of . and trailing slashes, pathlib glob will return all three of these results as file/path, giving three identical results.

In 7.0, logic was added to detect pathlib normalization cases and ensure that redundant results are not returned.

>>> glob.glob(['docs/./src', 'docs/src/.', 'docs/src'])
['docs/./src', 'docs/src/.', 'docs/src']
>>> list(pathlib.Path('.').glob(['docs/./src', 'docs/src/.', 'docs/src']))
>>> list(pathlib.Path('.').glob(['docs/./src', 'docs/src/.', 'docs/src'], flags=pathlib.NOUNIQUE))
[PosixPath('docs/src'), PosixPath('docs/src'), PosixPath('docs/src')]

Last update: January 21, 2021