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kinda like grep but not quite

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not-grep is kind of like grep, but different.


If you have ever needed to inspect a file for particular patterns, you probably used grep.

grep FooClassName

If you needed to do that for a lot of files, you might have combined it with find.

find . -type f -name "*.py" -exec grep -n FooClassName {} /dev/null \;

This works great for one-off checks but less great if you need to do those checks repeatedly, if you need to do lots of such checks, if you need to do those checks somewhere that you don’t have access to grep, or if you need to do things that grep cannot do.

Not Grep?

not-grep is designed for static use, not ad-hoc use. For example, as part of a continuous integration test suite. This is why it gets its configuration from a config file, not the CLI. Because of this, the not-grep CLI is very simple: the only things you can specify are the config file and verbosity.

not-grep --config config.toml -vv

Inside the config file, things start to get interesting.

not-grep is built around checker plugins. Each plugin takes a map as input: the file glob pattern for the files you want to check and a value that tells the plugin what to do with that file.

The config file is a collection of TOML tables. The table name identifies the plugin and the table members are the input to that plugin.

# The "include" checker will error unless the specified value is include.
"src/**/*.py" = "__all__"

# The "exclude" checker will error if the specified value is include.
"src/**/*.py" = "FooClassName"

The output shows you, for each plugin, whether each matched file met or failed the plugin requirements. In lower verbosity levels, not-grep only shows failed checks.

$ not-grep --config config.toml -vv
================Running include checks================
-----------Checking src/**/*.py for pattern-----------
src/foo/ PASS
src/foo/ FAIL

================Running exclude checks================
-----------Checking src/**/*.py for pattern-----------
src/foo/ PASS
src/foo/ PASS

Awesome! Can I use it in GitHub Actions?

Yes. Yes you can.

- uses: mattsb42/not-grep@master
    # If you don't set config-file the action uses ".github/not-grep.toml".
    config-file: ./github/config/check-things.toml
    # If you don't set debug, passing checks will be hidden.
    debug: true

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