p:directory step

Vasil Rangelov proposes[1] an atomic step to read a directory listing
and return it as a document. Jeni and I chatted about it a bit and it
seems like a good idea. Here's my proposal (which Jeni hasn't seen so
I'm to blame for the errors).

<p:declare-step type="p:directory-list">
  <p:output port="result"/>
  <p:option name="path" value="."/>
  <p:option name="recursive" value="no"/>
  <p:option name="filter"/>

The p:directory-list step reads all of the files in the specified
directory and returns a c:folder element:

  <c:directory name="path-specified">
    <c:directory name="dirname"/>
    <c:file name="filename"/>

If the "recursive" option is "yes", then you get the whole, recursive

  <c:directory name="path-specified">
    <c:directory name="dirname">
      <c:file name="othername"/>
    <c:file name="filename"/>

The "filter" option specifies a command-line style pattern. So

  <p:directory-list path="." recursive="yes" filter="*.xml">

returns only the files that match "*.xml" in the current directory
or any directory under the current directory.

There are a few different ways that we could go on the whole
recursive/filter business. I suggest that filters only apply to the
names of files, not directories.

The order of c:file and c:directory elements within a directory is
implementation defined. The current working directory is
implementation defined.

I don't know exactly what to point to for the syntax for filters. We
could use regexp, but that seems like overkill (and filenames often
contain periods so it's tedious for users). I cribbed the following
text from the csh manpage (and massaged it to fit this context):

     The filter is regarded as a pattern and treats the characters
     '*', '?', and '[' specially. If a filter is specified, only files
     which have names that match the filter pattern are returned.

     In matching filenames, the character '*' matches any string of
     characters, including the null string. The character '?' matches
     any single character. The sequence [...] matches any one of the
     characters enclosed. Within [...], a pair of characters separated
     by '-' matches any character lexically between the two in Unicode
     codepoint order (inclusive). All other characters match exactly
     the same character.

I propose that this be a required step.

                                        Be seeing you,

[1] http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-xml-processing-model-comments/2007Jul/0002.html

Norman Walsh <ndw@nwalsh.com> | Graduate school is where you learn to
http://nwalsh.com/            | call a spade a leveraged
                              | tactile-feedback geomass delivery
                              | system.--Martha Koester

Received on Tuesday, 24 July 2007 09:15:46 UTC