Search Help

Extracted from the Glimpse Man Page
The font size is increased here so you can read the commas, quotes, and semi colins.

Boolean operations
Glimpse (the search engine) supports an `AND' operation denoted by the symbol `;' an `OR' operation denoted by the symbol `,', or any combination. For example, `pizza;cheeseburger' will output all lines containing both patterns. define;DEFAULT' will output all lines containing both `define' and `DEFAULT' (anywhere in the line, not necessarily in order). `{political,computer};science' will match `political science' or `science of computers'.

Wild cards
The symbol `#' is used to denote a sequence of any number (including 0) of arbitrary characters. The symbol # is equivalent to .* in egrep. In fact, .* will work too, because it is a valid regular expression (see below), but unless this is part of an actual regular expression, # will work faster. (Currently glimpse is experiencing some problems with #.)

Combination of exact and approximate matching Any pattern inside angle brackets <> must match the text exactly even if the match is with errors. For example, <mathemat>ics matches mathematical with one error (replacing the last s with an a), but mathe<matics> does not match mathematical no matter how many errors are allowed. (This option is buggy at the moment.)

Regular expressions
Since the index is word based, a regular expression must match words that appear in the index for glimpse to find it. Glimpse first strips the regular expression from all non-alphabetic characters, and searches the index for all remaining words. It then applies the regular expression matching algorithm to the files found in the index. For example, `abc.*xyz' will search the index for all files that contain both `abc' and `xyz', and then search directly for `abc.*xyz' in those files. The syntax of regular expressions in glimpse is in general the same as that for agrep. The union operation `|', Kleene closure `*', and parentheses () are all supported. Currently `+' is not supported. Regular expressions are currently limited to approximately 30 characters (generally excluding meta characters). The maximal number of errors for regular expressions that use `*' or `|' is 4.