How to save time with ZSH completion system

How to save time with ZSH completion system

What you, as software engineer, usually do? Right! You create new git
branches almost every day, even more than once per day. For example, one of my
everyday patterns following:

  1. Look into the board in JIRA;
  2. Open one of assigned to me ticket;
  3. Move it to "In progress" status if it isn't yet;
  4. Copy a key of the ticket;
  5. Go to my command line;
  6. Create a branch with the same name as the ticket's key,
    i.e. feature/EXMPL-1234.

I have seen many times in different companies attempts of simplifying of that
process: bookmarklets that copy
for you current tickets or browser extensions that complement JIRA tickets
with copy button UI etc.

In one day I decided to return to my old idea to learn about ZSH completion
system and create
completion that will do for me dirty job. And I've created it.

I use Git aliases in my
Git setup and it works like a charm: you can create shorthands for all of operations
that you do from console every day when you touch upon Git repositories, i.e.:

; ~/.gitconfig
; ...
  co = checkout
; ...

Using that config you can easily do some everyday routine:

~ git co my-awesome-branch

Great part of this functionality that autocompletion will works even with your
aliases in ZSH. So, imagine that you would like to create alias for start point
of your Git flow:

; ~/.gitconfig
; ...
  co = checkout
  ; Flow Branch
  fb = ! git checkout dev && git pull && git co -b
; ...

For our new alias git fb we've used alias that starts with exclamation mark
because our command isn't just mapping from value to name of sub-command of git —
it is list of commands.

So, imagine that you'd like to have completion for your name of tickets that will
be based on your JIRA. It will be useful, right? I'm using ZSH
as my shell and I will provide example of realization based on this shell.

ZSH can automatically load functions for you from folders that you specify in
variable fpath inside your ZSH initialization scripts, i.e. in ~/.zshrc:

fpath=(~/.zsh $fpath)

This instruction tells a shell to check scripts inside ~/.zsh/ folder when corresponding
function was called. For example, let's create one of our functions:

# ~/.zsh/foo
echo "Initialized"

function foo() {
    echo "Called"

foo $@

, and also let's update our ~/.zshrc script to automatically load function
when we will call it:

# ~/.zshrc
# ...

fpath=(~/.zsh $fpath)
autoload foo

Now, when you call foo for the first time, you will see message Initialized,
then — message Called. After second time only a message Called will be printed.
Thus, this system provide a way to initialize your scripts and automatically
load definitions based on fpath.

But now, let's talk about completion system. In zsh it based on loading system
that we discussed previously. Let's create simple completion that will be based
on command and won't depends on position of parameter. For example, we want to
create some custom completion for some existing binary, i.e. ls:

#compdef ls
# ~/.zsh/_ls

params=(One Two)

_describe 'command' params

The name of loadable function with underscore at start it is one of requirements
of completion system. Other requirement is header of file: #compdef ....
This header describe command or other options
for your autocomplete function. In this script we initialize array of strings
that will be used as our completion items and the last line is one of the ZSH
completion functions that provide the simplest way
to describe completion options.

Okay, it is possible to describe completion for executables and it's options.
But what about our git aliases that we've created for git. Good news here that
ZSH autocompletion scripts that come with Git, at least on OSX, provide to you
way to describe completion for your Git aliases that will works as expected:
you just need to create $fpath/_git_<your alias here> completion script and it
will be invoked with your Git alias.

Using this way of describing completion of git alias I've created script that will
do for me a task that I described in the beginning of article:

#compdef git-fb

local email=${}
local token=${ATLASSIAN_TOKEN}
local jira_host=${$}

local script='
  let result = "";
  process.stdin.on("data", (c) => result += c);
  process.stdin.on("end", () => {
    JSON.parse(result) => {
      const short = i.fields.summary
        .replace(/\[\w+\]/g, "")
        .replace(/\s/g, "-")

local IFS=$'\n';

params=($(function () {
  local query="assignee=currentuser()%20AND%20status=%22In%20Progress%22";
  local params="jql=${query}&fields=summary"

  curl -s -u "${email}:${token}" \
  "https://${jira_host}/rest/api/3/search\?${params}" \
    | node -e $script

_describe 'command' params

This is script that goes to JIRA REST API and asks about all tickets that currently
"In progress" and assigned to current user (it is specified by token and email variables)
and format using simple Node.js script names of branches from key of tickets and,
also, builds completion menu with all available variants for current argument prefix
with the corresponding description of all filtered tickets.

Tricky part of this script is Node.js script that is being using to transform received
from JIRA REST API endpoint JSON. It cannot be easily done with only UNIX text tools,
i.e. sed, grep, awk etc. It will be depends on structure of JSON and will be to fragile.
That's why I used Node.js in this part of script. Characteristic of Node.js is it's own
callback-style way of describing asynchronous logic, thence, this script looks too complex.

I've rewrote it to Python and after that this part of logic becomes cleaner:

#compdef git-fb

local email=${}
local token=${ATLASSIAN_TOKEN}
local jira_host=${$}

local script='
import sys,json,re

issues = json.load(sys.stdin)["issues"]
pat = re.compile("\w+(-\w+){1,2}")

for issue in issues:
  short ="\s", "-", re.sub(r"\[\w+\]", "", issue["fields"]["summary"])).lower()).group(0)
  key = issue.get("key")
  summary = issue.get("fields").get("summary")

local IFS=$'\n';

params=($(function () {
  local query="assignee=currentuser()%20AND%20status=%22In%20Progress%22";
  local params="jql=${query}&fields=summary"

  curl -s -u "${email}:${token}" \
  "https://${jira_host}/rest/api/3/search\?${params}" \
    | python3 -c $script

_describe 'command' params

Also important to note that in this script items of completion formatted using
item:description pattern. This pattern of item is used by ZSH to format menu
of completion with one line per item with description. It looks like that:

~ git fb EXMPL- # >TAB
feature/EXMPL-1234 - This is description of ticket
feature/EXMPL-5678 - This is other description of other ticket