nak

ack and ag inspired tool written in Node. Designed to be fast.

npm install nak
2 downloads in the last day
101 downloads in the last week
175 downloads in the last month

Build Status

An ack/ag clone written in Node.js. The focus here is on speed and performance, rather than trying to 100% mimic all the functionality of ack.

There were two goals set out:

  1. Be faster than ack
  2. Return matches in order

I've benchmarked in numerous places where and why code is written as it is, as well as possible areas of improvement. It's mostly asynchronous, though due to the requirement of returning items in order, performs a mergesort at the end of all the results obtained.

As long as it's faster than ack, I'm pleased.

Behavior

A lot of the functionality is modeled around ag. In fact, you can provide a .nakignore file to define patterns to ignore. .nakignore files in the directory you're searching under are automatically included as ignore rules, but you can choose to specify any additional file (with .gitignore-style rules) with -a.

Some missing options include specifying a maxdepth, or following symlinks.

Usages

As an executable

nak -G '*.js' 'function' .

Find all files ending in js, in the current directory, with the phrase function.

nak -a ../.gitignore -i 'def' .

Find all files in the current directory, with the phrase in def (case-insensitive), in the current directory; also, use the .gitignore rules from the folder above

nak -d '*.less' -w 'mixin' .

Find all files in the current directory that are not .less, with the phrase mixin (whole word), in the current directory

Within a script

var nak = require("./lib/nak");

options = {};
options.list = true;
options.path = ".";

// capture stdout to do something with it
nak.run(options);

Your own function event handlers - BETA

If you want, you can define some of your own function handling for certain events, and pass them to nak. All functions should return null upon failing.

Currently available functions are:

  • onFilepathSearchFn(filepath) - Given a filepath, this returns a String representing the contents of that file

If you're using nak as part of a Node.js script using child_process.exec or child_process.spawn you MUST serialize your function as JSON; nak will deserialize it for you. You must also store the function as process.env.nak_<function_name>. This is because process.env is automatically passed to the exec or spawn function. Modifying process.env like this only affects the running script, not your machine.

Behind the scenes, serialization occurs via the simplefunc module.

In the following examples, when nak encounters a filepath called file1.txt, it'll return "photo" as the file's contents. Otherwise, it returns null, and normal nak behavior is performed--in this case, a disk read of the file.

Event functions in a script

var nak = require('nak'),
    Exec = require('child_process').exec;

var fn = function(filepath) {
    if (/file1\.txt/.test(filepath)) return "photo";
    return null;
}

process.env.nak_onFilepathSearchFn = nak.serialize(fn);

Exec(nakPath + " " + "-a .nakignore 'photo' " + process.cwd(), function(err, stdout, stderr) {
 // ...
}

Event function from the command line

This is ugly, but it works the same as above:

nak -a .nakignore 'photo' --onFilepathSearchFn 'if (/file1\.txt/.test(filepath)) return "photo";\nreturn null;' .

Why?

After reading Felix's Faster than C notes, I became inspired to just write a fast ack clone, in Node.js.

I benchmarked and rewrote and learned a lot. While nak does not support everything ack does, it does nearly everything ag does.

Benchmarks

You like numbers? Me too. They're fun.

Here's the average time for grabbing information from a directory with 13,300 files five times. The commands do the exact same thing by just listing all the available files in the directory structure, and try to exclude the same files/directories.

ag nak ack find
10.052s 4.863s 5.217s 28.989s

Here are benchmarks for finding the phrase "va" in cloud9infra, as a whole-word regexp, case insensitively:

ag nak ack grep
34.609s 29.327s 88.883s 256.14s

Obviously, part of the speed impediment to ack or grep is the lack of a simple way to provide ignore rules.

Testing

All tests can be found in tests; they use mocha to run. To run them:

npm install mocha -g
npm test

Builds

Building is necessary only if you want a minified version of nak, or, a version that works with VFS-Local.

Just call node compile.js from the root directory to generate a build. You'll need to npm install uglify-js first.

You'll get several files: one is nak minifed, and the other is a minified version of nak that is suitable for use with VFS. The API and argument consumption for VFS local is the exact same; just make sure you call api.execute within the callback for vfs.extend.

Options

Options:
      -l|--list                             list files encountered
      -H|--hidden                           search hidden files and directories (default off)
      -c|--color                            adds color to results  (default off)
      -a|--pathToNakignore «value»          path to an additional nakignore file
      -q|--literal                          do not parse PATTERN as a regular expression; match it literally
      -w|--wordRegexp                       only match whole words
      -i|--ignoreCase                       match case insensitively
      -G|--fileSearch «value»               comma-separated list of wildcard files to only search on
      -d|--ignore «value»                   comma-separated list of wildcard files to additionally ignore
      -f|--follow                           follow symlinks (default off)
      -U|--addVCSIgnores                    include VCS ignore files (.gitignore); still uses .nakignore
         --ackmate                          output results in a format parseable by AckMate
         --onFilepathSearchFn «value»       while searching, executes this function on a matching filepath

Hotspots

Right now there are two areas of the code that take the longest amount of time:

  • determining whether a file is binary or not (calls to isBinaryFile in walkdir.js)
  • assembling the final output in finalizer

Everything else--from ignore rule creation to option parsing--takes an insignificant amount of time to process.

MIT License

Copyright (c) 2013 Garen J. Torikian

Permission is hereby granted, free of charge, to any person obtaining a copy of this software and associated documentation files (the "Software"), to deal in the Software without restriction, including without limitation the rights to use, copy, modify, merge, publish, distribute, sublicense, and/or sell copies of the Software, and to permit persons to whom the Software is furnished to do so, subject to the following conditions:

The above copyright notice and this permission notice shall be included in all copies or substantial portions of the Software.

THE SOFTWARE IS PROVIDED "AS IS", WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO THE WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE AND NONINFRINGEMENT. IN NO EVENT SHALL THE AUTHORS OR COPYRIGHT HOLDERS BE LIABLE FOR ANY CLAIM, DAMAGES OR OTHER LIABILITY, WHETHER IN AN ACTION OF CONTRACT, TORT OR OTHERWISE, ARISING FROM, OUT OF OR IN CONNECTION WITH THE SOFTWARE OR THE USE OR OTHER DEALINGS IN THE SOFTWARE.

npm loves you