Filename Manipulating [Examples]

Being able to have different names for the source items and their destination items arises as a vital need in some use cases. dt-cli offers this utility via a convenient and versatile way, with the power of regular expressions.


This is not new. GNU Stow has an option --dotfiles, which explains this in man:stow(8):


Enable special handling for "dotfiles" (files or folders whose name begins with a period) in the package directory. If this option is enabled, Stow will add a preprocessing step for each file or folder whose name begins with "dot-", and replace the "dot-" prefix in the name by a period (.). This is useful when Stow is used to manage collections of dotfiles, to avoid having a package directory full of hidden files.

dt-cli's filename manipulating capability functions in a similar way, but in a much more powerful way: you can specify arbitrary renaming rules, thanks to the flexibility of regular expressions; you can also specify arbitrary number of renaming rules, multiple defined rules will apply to your items one-after-another.


Renaming rules are defined in the rename array. A renaming rule is represented by a 2-tuple in the config file, where the first element is a regular expression pattern and the second element is a substitution rule. To achieve an identical behaviour as the --dotfiles option with GNU Stow, a renaming rule can be set in global section of the config file as:

rename = [
    "^dot-",  # "pattern"
    ".",      # "substitution rule"
  # Multiple renaming rules are applied sequentially, with the previous rule's
  # output being the input of the current rule.

Since dt-cli's renaming capability is powered by regular expressions, it also supports regular expression features like capturing groups, which allows infinitely flexible filename manipulation. More examples can be found in the hands-on guide.