GNU History Library. Node: Introduction to History

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2.1: Introduction to History

Many programs read input from the user a line at a time. The GNU History library is able to keep track of those lines, associate arbitrary data with each line, and utilize information from previous lines in composing new ones.

The programmer using the History library has available functions for remembering lines on a history list, associating arbitrary data with a line, removing lines from the list, searching through the list for a line containing an arbitrary text string, and referencing any line in the list directly. In addition, a history expansion function is available which provides for a consistent user interface across different programs.

The user using programs written with the History library has the benefit of a consistent user interface with a set of well-known commands for manipulating the text of previous lines and using that text in new commands. The basic history manipulation commands are similar to the history substitution provided by csh.

If the programmer desires, he can use the Readline library, which includes some history manipulation by default, and has the added advantage of command line editing.

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