DR 2.0

What we got here is Yet Another CLI Directory Listing Command, called Dr (pronounced “dr”, one syllable) because it leaves out .info files.  (Like, the missing I in Dir stands for .info ...? never mind.)  It is a very fast and full featured program for AmigaDOS 2.04 and up which is arguably superior to all of the dozen or so other Amiga directory listers I’ve seen.  The features it offers are:


USAGE: type “Dr” followed by zero or more file names, directory names, patterns, or options, or type “Dr ?” for a summary of options.  Anything that starts with a dash character and is not enclosed in quotes is taken as options.  Example:

dr -orf devs:

In this command, “devs:” is the directory that gets listed, and the set of options is “-orf”.

By default, Dr lists the names of files and subdirectories in whatever directories you tell it to list, alphabetically sorted in columns.  It’s usually easier to find something alphabetically by reading down columns instead of across rows, in my experience.  If you disagree, use the -H option (H for “horizontal”).  Directory names are listed before file names, with the filenames indented one space.  (This method of visibly separating them replaces that stupid line of dashes that many users disliked.) Each directory name is followed by a slash.  Only the name itself, not the slash, is orange if it has an icon.  Things with associated *.info files will be marked as such even if the *.info file itself is excluded by the pattern you used, or by the -D or -A or -B options.  If you list just a single file, it will check whether it has a *.info file and show the name in the alternate color if so, unless you use the -I (show .infos) or -M (monochrome) option. It does not check to see whether files with names ending in .info are actual valid icon files.  Note that if the output is not a CON: window, it is as if -M were used; it doesn’t show you which files had icons.

New in release 1.5 is an extension of pattern syntax: If you end the pattern with a double colon, it applies that pattern to files within all of the subdirectories it encounters, as well as the directory you specify.  You can think of “pattern::” as being equivalent to “pattern” and “#?/pattern” and “#?/#?/pattern” and so on.  This is different from using the -R option (show contents of subdirectories) with a pattern.  With -R, it shows files in the top directory that fit the pattern, and looks in each subdirectory with a name that fits the pattern, showing all the files inside.  With “::” it looks in all subdirectories and shows the items in them that match the pattern. The “::” can be used only at the very end of a path/pattern specification, not in the middle.  That is, “#?/source/#?.c::” is legal but something like “work#?::/#?.doc ” is not.

-R will also search the contents of directories which are not shown, if the reason they are not shown is because of the -A, -B, -F, or -P options, rather than because of a pattern.  Those options will limit which files are shown within those subdirectories.

If you specify an actual directory that has a name with pattern characters in it, like maybe a drawer named “Doesn't work?”, Dr will list that directory instead of expanding the pattern.  You can force it to expand by adding an extra percent sign to the pattern, so it doesn’t match the name.  Patterns at the end of a pathname may be up to 128 characters long.

If you wish to use a single question mark as a pattern to show all files with one-character names, and there are no other arguments on the command line, you must put quotes around it or add a percent-sign to it, or Dr will think you are asking it for a brief summary of usage and options.  As of Dr 1.5, the way to specify a quote within quotes is with "" rather than the AmigaDOS standard *", in order to make it easier to use the asterisk as a wildcard.

You can give several option letters after one dash, like “Dr -chs foo”, or separately, like “Dr -c -h foo -s”.  The case of the option letters doesn’t matter.  Each option affects those files and directories that come after it on the command line, except that any options at the end, after the last filename, act as if they were entered at the beginning.  Example: “dr foo -s bar” lists directory foo without showing sizes, and directory bar with sizes shown.  If a directory name begins with a dash, put quotes around so that it isn’t taken as options.  If you give an option twice, the second one cancels the first.  This means that if you make an alias like “alias list dr -lc []”, saying “list -c” turns the -c option off.  Or, you can show directory foo with sizes, and directory arf without sizes, with the command “Dr -s foo -s arf”.  (Note: since options at the end act like they are at the beginning, “Dr -s directory -s” will show the directory without the -S option!)

Options can also be given by setting the environment variable DR-OPTS.  It can contain any option or options from the list below, including custom format strings.  They are checked before looking at any of the options on the command line.  Local shell variables set with “Set” take precedence over global ENV: variables set with “SetEnv”.  Options on the command line can reverse the ones in DR-OPTS.  The command line option -@ makes it ignore the DR-OPTS variable.  Hyphens before options are allowed, but not needed, in DR-OPTS.  It can be up to 287 characters long.  So for example, if you want to make Dr always use the options “-I” and “-P^H” and “-N12” except when you tell it otherwise, give these commands:

setenv DR-OPTS "i p^h n12"
copy env:DR-OPTS envarc:

The second command saves the environment variable so it will be automatically restored when you reboot or turn on the machine.


The complete set of options for Dr release 2.0 is:

-I List .info files like normal files instead of using an alternate color to mark the other files they are associated with.
-M Turns off the use of color to mark files that have icons.  Color is not used anyway when output is redirected to a file.
-S Show the size of each file in bytes, and totals.  The number of spaces allowed for each number is based on the largest value found in the output, except in unsorted mode (when -O is used) where nine characters are allowed.
-C Sort chronologically (newest last) instead of alphabetically.
-Z Sort by file size, from smallest to largest.  Items of equal size, such as directories, are sorted alphabetically or chronologically depending on presence of -C.
-V Sort in reverse (Z to A, newest to oldest, or largest to smallest).
-H Sort into rows instead of columns, if more than one column.
-L Show sizes, protection bits, datestamps and filenotes like the List command.  Overrides -S.  Show total bytes/blocks used.  Unlike List, it puts the filename after the other information instead of before. For soft links it adds an extra line telling what path it is linked to.  Output is sorted unless you also use the -O option.
-Y Use day names like “Today” or “Yesterday” or “Monday” to show dates within the last week, the way List does if you don’t use its DATES option.  This applies to “\t” substitutions (see below) also.
-D Do not show file names, only subdirectory names.  Cancels -F.
-F Do not show subdirectory names, only file names.  Cancels -D.
-K Show the disk address (header block key) of each file or directory, in square brackets.  As with -S, the spacing allowed for the number is based on the largest value shown, except when output is unsorted (-O).  In that case six spaces are allowed.
-R Recursively show contents of all subdirectories found.  If you’re going to descend a whole lot of levels (like more than about nine) you will need a bigger stack than the default 4K.  It checks for adequate stack before entering each subdirectory.  An 8K stack would let you go about 40 levels deep.
-U Show only disk space consumed, and a count of files and directories, without listing any names unless you also use -O or custom formatting.  As far as output goes, -U overrides all other options except -R, -O, and custom formatting, but patterns and options may affect the totals shown.
-O Put each filename on a separate line as a complete pathname, do not sort, do not hide .info files, and when -R is used merge all the directories and subdirectories into a single list.  If -L is also used, size and protection and such is shown, and totals are given at the end, with no subtotals for inner directories. With -L, names are shown as relative pathnames from the directory specified, including inner dir names if -R is used, not as complete pathnames.  Using -U with -O also causes totals to be shown at the end, but leaves the output in the form of one complete name per line.  If neither -L nor -U is used, there are no headers to separate directories, just nothing but names.  This can be very useful as input to other programs.  Overrides -S, -K, -C, and lack of -I-N is overridden in most ways but still affects whether inner directories are listed after outer ones, as opposed to being listed somewhere in the middle.  The beginning of the pathname shown is the directory arg as you specified it in the command, not the absolute path, unless you use -T.  The pathnames output have a maximum length of 300 characters. Output is continuous while the disk is being scanned, instead of done afterwards.  Unsorted output can be noticeably faster, because the disk IO is asynchronous.
-T Convert the pathnames you give it to absolute form.  For instance, if you say “Dr -o env:” it will normally write lines of filenames like “env:Kickstart”.  But “Dr -ot env:” will say “Ram Disk:env/Kickstart” or the like; “env:” is converted into its true pathname.
-X Show the specified directory’s information as if it were listed as part of its parent directory, instead of showing the files inside. Unless -O or custom formatting is used, show its protection bits, datestamp, and so on as if listed with -L.  If an arg is a soft link instead of a directory, show the pathname that it is linked to; the datestamp and such are not shown in this case due to a limitation of the Amiga filesystem.  Ignored if -R or a pattern at the end of the argument is used.  Overrides -F, -D, and -P.
-A# (example: -A30)  Show all files dated within the last # days.  The cutoff point is midnight before the day # days ago.  Thus -A0 shows files changed today.  -A not followed by a digit cancels it.
-B# (example: -B5)  Like -A, but show all files more than # days old. Combining -A with -B uses a range of days, or excludes a range of days if the -A number is smaller (more recent) than the -B number.
-N# (example: -N2)  Select a general style for how directories and files are arranged in the output.  The default is 0, which specifies that files should be listed immediately after directories, indented one space more than directories.  1 specifies a blank line in between, and no difference in indentation.  2 is like 1 except with a line of dashes in place of the blank line.  3 specifies that files and directories are combined into a single sorted list.  You can add ten to any of those numbers (e.g. -N12), and that tells it that files are to be listed before directories rather than after.  This also causes the contents of inner directories to be listed after, rather than before, their parent directories.  This also causes inner directory listings to appear in properly sorted order, which they cannot do when listed before their parents, and might be a trifle faster.  Other values produce a nonfatal error message.
-P... A bit more complicated than the options above; the letter P may have other letters after it, each one optionally preceded by a tilde (~).  The letters allowed are H, S, P, A, R, W, E , or D (lowercase okay).  These letters represent protection bits.  If the tilde is in front of a letter, Dr will show only files for which that protection bit is not set.  If there is no tilde it will show only those for which it is set.  For instance, to show all “pure” files, use -PP.  To show all script files which have not been backed up, use -PS~A.  Use -P with a space after it to cancel earlier -P options, making it ignore protection bits.  For the bits R, W, E, and D, “set” means that the bit shows as present when you use List or Dr -L.  (The physical bit is actually a zero in these cases.)  So for example -P~D means show files protected from deletion.  You can use a caret (^) instead of a tilde (~) if you want.  Must not be followed by another option letter; that is, you can’t use -PAU for -PA -U.
-[...format string...]
  Control the format of the output.  For each file or directory to be listed, the text inside the brackets is written out followed by a newline.  Substitutions can be made in that text, by including a backslash character followed by one other character to indicate what to insert, optionally with digits in between.  The digits are ignored for most substitutions, but when a number (for instance) is inserted, the digits specify how many text columns to use.  For substitutions that produce a decimal number (\s and \k), spaces are added on the left if the number of digits to be written is less than the specified width, and if the number of digits given is insufficient for the number’s digits, they’re all written out anyway.  The complete list of substitutions is:
\n is replaced with a newline.
\e is replaced with an escape character.
\d is replaced with the name of the directory being searched. (If you specified a file instead of a dir, or used -X, \d will give the full name, and any filename pasted on after it will be invalid.)
\f is replaced with the name of the current file or directory being listed, with no path in front.
\p is replaced with the pathname of the current file or directory; like \d followed by \f, with a slash in between if needed.
\? becomes a slash if the current file is a directory, or a colon if it is a volume (with -X option), or nothing for files. Usually used right after \f or \p to show whether it is a directory.
\/ is a slash unless the preceding character output was a slash, colon, double-quote, whitespace, or control character. Possibly useful for joining filenames onto directory names.
\b is replaced with the file’s protection bits, shown as eight letters or dashes; e.g. “-s-arw-d”.
\t is replaced with the file’s timestamp, in the format “DD-Mmm-YY HH:MM:SS”.  (No choice of date format yet.)  If a number is given (for example “\9t”), then if the number is less than 18, the date is truncated on the right after that many characters, and if more than 18, then extra spaces are added on the left to produce the desired number of characters.
\w is replaced with the day of the week that the file’s datestamp falls on.  As with \t, the name is padded on the left if you give a width greater than 9, and truncated if you give less. This means that “\3w” can be used to produce a three letter abbreviation like “Mon” or “Wed”.
\s is replaced with the file’s size in bytes, or blanks for a directory.  If no width is specified, the default width is 9 characters.
\k is replaced with the disk address (key) of the file or directory, padded to a constant width.  If no width is specified, the default width is 6 characters.
\i is replaced by (n) spaces, where (n) is how many levels deep in recursive descent you are — no spaces when no recursion.  If a width is included (e.g. “\4i”) then the recursion depth is multiplied by that number to give the number of spaces written.
\+ prevents the newline at the end of each output.
\ before anything else “quotes” it.  Use \\ for \ and \] for ].
To cancel a previous format option and use normal output from now on, use -[].  Overrides -S, -L, and -K.  Output is sorted normally, and has the usual headers to separate subdirectories and different directories given on the command line, and (with -N1 or -N2) the usual blank line or line of dashes, unless you use -O also.  Note that whitespace and double-quotes inside -[...] are treated as literal text, not as marking separate arguments to Dr.  The text that is output after substitutions is limited to 255 characters.  The name written by \p or \f will be in the cursor color (orange or whatever) if it has an icon, unless you use -I or -M or -O or redirect the output to a file.
-{...format string...}
  Like -[...], except it executes the result as an AmigaDOS command instead of just writing it out.  (Use \} if you need a } in the command.)  This is done in addition to, not instead of, normal output.  So you can use both -[...] and -{...} at once with different formats.  The command is done first, the output last.  In fact, commands are executed during the disk scan instead of saved until afterwards, so they are done in unsorted order.  You can use -o[\+] to suppress all output and just run commands.

These next few options, which are punctuation characters instead of letters, differ from the above in that they take global effect if they appear anywhere on the command line, and do not toggle.

-@ Causes Dr to ignore the DR-OPTS environment variable and use the default “factory” option settings.
-? Test whether any files asked for can be found.  Produce no output of any kind, but return 5 (WARN) and error 205 (object not found) if nothing is found that matches the arguments given.  Return 0 if anything is found to match any file, dir, or pattern argument.  Overrides all options controlling output.  Also overrides -{}, since it stops as soon as it finds even one match.
-! Turn off the cursor during output to the screen.  Text gets written somewhat faster this way.

Here is a brief list of mnemonic words that might help you remember which option is which:

-A = After -B = Before -C = Chronological -D = Dirs only -F = Files only
-H = Horizontal -I = include Icons -K = Keys -L = List Long -M = Monochrome
-N = style Number -O = name Only -P = Protection -R = Recursive -S = Size
-T = True name -U = Usage -V = reVerse -X = eXternal -Y = Yesterday
-Z = by siZe -! = zoom! -? = exists? -@ = v@nilla

If Dr lists the contents of more than one directory, each one will be preceded with its name, written like this:

        ===  path/whatever/dir  ===

unless you use -O (but not -U or custom formatting) in which case the different listings will all run together without separation.  If you give no directory or pattern, it lists the current directory, of course.  Or you can specify the current directory as empty quotes: "".

If you give it a multiply assigned name, it will produce separate sections for each directory the name is assigned to, with banners like the one shown above for each one.  It can handle up to fifty assignments on one name.  For example, assume that you have FONTS: assigned to two directories named “Workbench:fonts” and “Work:etc/MoreFonts”.  If you give the command “Dr fonts:t#?.font” you might get output like this:

         === Workbench:fonts ===
 topaz.font

         === Work:etc/MoreFonts ===
 tallibm.font   times.font

Note that if you use -R or a “::” pattern with a multiply assigned name, and one of the assignments is a subdirectory of another, you may see some files listed twice.  Dr does not watch out for such overlaps, though it will catch cases in which a link makes a directory an ancestor of itself.  Also, if you name a subdirectory under the assigned name, which is present in more than one of the assigned directories, only the first one will be seen.  (Example: if there is a “Workbench:fonts/courier/18” and a “Work:etc/MoreFonts/courier/48”, then listing “FONTS:courier” will only show the first.)  When -X is used, it will tell the protection and datestamp of each directory the name is assigned to.

The usage totals given at the end of a -S, -L, or -U output tell the number of directories listed, the number of files, the total number of bytes in the files, and the number of disk blocks they occupy.  For each of these numbers it may give a second number in parentheses.  This represents the total found in the whole directory, when it differs from the total of those selected for listing.  Things excluded by a pattern or by -A, -B, -D, -F, or lack of -I, may contribute to the differences between the numbers.


Some examples of using format strings: to mark the files in directory foo as having been last updated yesterday, use

Dr -o -{setdate "\p" yesterday} foo

The -o is not necessary but usually a good idea.  Or you might want to use -[\+] to suppress output.

To copy all files ending in “.c” in directory foo to directory bar with “.BAK” stuck on the end (foo/xxxxx.c becomes bar/xxxxx.c.BAK), use

Dr -o -{Copy “\p” to “bar/\f.BAK”} foo/#?.c

WARNING:  Using Rename in the -{...} command may not work.  With at least some versions of some filesystems, such as RAM:, renaming a file and then looking up the “next” file in that directory after the one that just got moved, may get it very confused.  Better to use -[] to write the Rename commands to a temporary file and then Execute that file.  Similar cautions apply to Delete.

Some Un#@%!x folks like to list their files by simply going “echo *”.  This writes out the names of the files packed all onto one line.  Well if you want to misuse Dr that way, you can: (you’ll probably want to use an alias)

Dr -f -[\f \+] foo

That could be shortened to “Dr -f[\f \+] foo”... with Dr 1.5 and newer, you can put letter options after the same dash as [] and {} options, before or after the brackets.  Dr will output a newline before it exits.

You can execute more than one command for each file by putting \n in between the commands inside -{ }.  Or alternatively, you can split the Dr command into multiple lines with a plus sign at the end of all but the last, and the newlines will be included in the bracketed command string.  (Plus-newline outside of brackets is considered the same as a space.)  But the complete text after all substitutions are made must be less than 256 characters long or Dr cannot execute it.  If a command comes out too long, Dr will write out a warning message and continue, and return 5 (“Warn”) when it exits.

As an example of using more than one command separated by newlines, the following will type out all the files in directory foo with a header in front of each one:

Dr -[\+] -{echo "*N #### FILE \p -=>" \n type "\p"} foo

Or, alternatively:

Dr -[\+]{echo "*N #### FILE \p -=>" +
type "\p"} foo

At present, Dr quits whenever the command’s return code is ten or more, but continues with nine or less.  Dr 1.5a and earlier quit when any nonzero return value occured.  A future version will have some way of setting a “Failat” level for such commands.

An example of using the -? option to test whether any files matching your criteria exist ... this command tests whether either directory Foo or volume Bar: has any files that need backing up, with the assumption that a file does not need backing up if the A protection bit is set or if its name ends in .o or .bak, and returns 5 if none do ... you can follow this in a script with “If WARN” to check whether the return was 5:

Dr -?fp~a Foo/~(#?.(o|bak)):: Bar:~(#?.(o|bak))::


Some features I might add to future versions, maybe:

The ability for the \f and \p formatting options to perform string substitution on filenames, so that (for instance) FOO.TXT becomes FOO.DOC.  This would be expressed with a syntax like \:::f or \:::p, for example “\:.txt/:.doc:p”.  The slash after “.txt” would indicate that it must be found at the end of the name.  And more ways to split and combine the starting pathname, the subdirectory under that, and the local name.

-J:  go ahead and jump into soft links when using -R.

-G:  Show file’s timestamp as age; days and hh:mm:ss before present.

An option to control what format to display dates in.

Make -A and -B able to parse date-and-time, e.g. “-A(5-Nov-93 16:00)”.

-Q:  Super-compact columnation like ls 4.1ljr, maybe.

Make -X and -R both work at once.

Maybe a variation of -T which substitutes the drive name for the volume name.

Dr is in the public domain, written by Paul Kienitz.