Icicles - Large Candidate Sets

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Dealing With Large Candidate Sets

One of the advantages Icicles provides is the ability to deal with large sets of completion candidates with ease. There are other libraries that also let you cycle among various choices of different kinds (buffers, files, and so on), but cycling quickly loses its effectiveness as the number of candidates increases.

Icicles apropos matching lets you work with a large initial set of candidates by filtering them, quickly reducing the number candidates to cycle through. Until you get used to Icicles, you will be surprised at your ability to manipulate even humongous sets of choices.

Nevertheless, there can be times when a candidate set is so large that you need to use a few tricks to deal with it efficiently. There are two main things that take time when dealing with a large set: computing the set and displaying it (with highlighting) in buffer ‘*Completions*’. In particular, incremental completion display is costly because it does both of these, recompute the set and redisplay it, each time you type or delete a character in the minibuffer.

Here are some tips to improve performance with a large set of candidates:

(The documentation refers to the keys that do this as ‘C-M-S-TAB’ and ‘C-M-TAB’. Actually, this is only by default. You can customize this, using options `icicle-apropos-complete-no-display-keys’ and `icicle-prefix-complete-no-display-keys’.)

See Also:

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DrewsElispLibraries referenced here: Lisp:icicles.el

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