Hunt & Gather - File search and indexing utilities.
(or Hunt'n'Gather bro, ghetto style)
© Copyright 2021 by Wizardry and Steamworks
Released under the MIT License, all rights reserved.
-=:[ Changes ]:=-
* Rewrite and preparations for pooling memory the Amiga way.
-=:[ Introduction ]:=-
"Hunt" and "Gather" are two utiltities for indexing and then searching
fileswithin a drive or directory designed to speed up searching files.
The "Gather" utility is meant to index any path and generate a search
database. The "Hunt" utility will then open the database generated by
Gather and look for files matching the string provided to "Hunt" as
The utility was designed to check large collections of icons but the
indexing and the fast search results proved indispensable enough for a
-=:[ Design ]:=-
"Hunt" and "Gather" are designed with constant memory usage in order
to be suitable for all Amigas. Namely, the "Gather" utility will
search all files in a given path, sort the files in ascending order by
using an external file-based merge sort.
Conversely, "Hunt" searchs files by reading lines from the database
without loading the entire database in RAM or by searching files
The project adheres to the ANSI C standard and Amiga-centric semantics
are compiled conditionally (in case the "___AmigaOS__" macro is
defined at compile time). Otherwise, "Hunt" and "Gather" should run
under any platform that benefits from an ANSI C compiler.
The project is developed from scratch on a real Amiga using StormC.
-=:[ Usage ]:=-
The "Gather" utility is used to index a path. The following command:
Gather -c RAM:
will create a file in the S: directory named "gather.db". "Gather"is
verbose by default and will show the user what the utility is doing
but the behaviour can be changed with the "-q" (quiet) flag that will
make "Gather" print only errors.
In order to look for a file, the "Hunt" utility is then invoked with
an AmigaOS search pattern, for instance, the pattern "#?test#?:
"Hunt" will then search the database previously generated by the
"Gather" utility and will print out all the paths corresponding to the
files matching the supplied pattern.
In the previous example, in case any of the files previously indexed
by "Gather" contain the term "test", then the "Hunt" utility will
display the path to the file.
At some point you might decide to add some other path to the search
database as well. In that case, "Gather" would be invoked with the
"-a" option instead of "-c" in order to add the files:
Gather -a HDH0:Icons/
"Gather" will then index the additional directory and add the new
files to the database. Adding a path to the index database will
require that "Gather" sorts the database again such that after adding
the new files, "Gather" will proceed with sorting.
Lastly, the "-r" parameter can be used with "Gather" to remove paths
that have been previously indexed. Let's say that you have indexed the
following paths with "Gather":
but now you would like to remove the "RAM:" path and all the files
indexed below that path. In that case, you would issue a "Gather"
command with the "-r" parameter:
Gather -r RAM:
and "Gather" will remove all files matching the "RAM:" path. Removing
a path with the "-r" parameter does not take a long time compared to
adding files to the database.
-=:[ Gather ]:=-
"Gather" requires that one of the following parameters is specified:
* -a (add files to an already existing database),
* -r (remove files from an already existing database),
* -c (delete the previous database file and create a new database).
The "Gather" utility takes several paths as parameters representing
the paths to be indexed; for example, all the following paths are
When the "Gather" utility runs, a database is created at "S:gather.db"
containing all the found files.
"Gather" is also happy to work with a different database file other
than the default database at "S:gather.db" by passing the "-d"
parameter when "Gather" is invoked. For instance, the following
command invocation will create the database file at "T:gather.db" and
index the paths "RAM:" and "HDH0:Icons":
Gather -d T:gather.db RAM: HDH0:Icons
Conversely, the "Hunt" utility can then be used to search specified
Hunt -d T:gather.db #?test?#
The previous "Hunt" command will search a database file located at
"T:gather.db" for all files matching the pattern "#?test?".
-=:[ Hunt ]:=-
"Hunt" is the counterpart to "Gather" and will search a given database
generated by the "Gather" utility for files matching the terms passed
to "Hunt" on the command line.
will search all files in the "Gather" database "S:gather.db" for the
term "test". If any file within the database partially matches the
term "test", then "Hunt" will display the path on the command line.
"Hunt" uses AmigaOS pattern for matching the file names on AmigaOS.
-=:[ Notes ]:=-
* The "Gather" utility will be slow and that is the intended
behaviour: slow indexing with "Gather", fast searching with "Hunt".
* Temporary files might end up created in the same location where the
"Gather" utility is invoked. Traditionally the temporary directory
on AmigaOS is mainted in RAM but "Gather" cannot use RAM since it
intends to index very large hierarchies. Fortunately, "Gather"will
delete the temporary files once "Gather" is done indexing.
Nevertheless, in case you intend to index a large filesystem
hierarchy please make sure that you invoke "Gather" from a directory
that is able to hold large temporary files.
* The output of the "Hunt" utility can be combined with the pipe
operator (in newer AmigaOS releases) or the PIPE: handler on older
AmigaOS releases in order to to perform some action on the found
files. For example, using Thomas Radtke's "from" utility located at:
and the Workbench 3.2 "MD5Sum" utility, you could print out the MD5
hashes of all files indexed by "Gather" ending in "#?.library:
Hunt #?.library | from - md5sum $1
Or you could generate a list of versions of all libraries indexed
with the "Gahter" utility:
Hunt #?.library | from - version $1
-=:[ Source ]:=-
The project is open sourced and licensed under MIT. The source code
is included in the AmiNET release or can be checked out via subversion
from the Wizardry and Steamworks repository:
svn co http://svn.grimore.org/HuntnGather
StormC was used as the developer environment.
-=:[ Mentions ]:=-
The code includes a shim for "getopt" in order to process command line
parameters on AmigaOS just like one would on a POSIX sytem. The shim
is created by Daniel J. Barrett, barrettcs.umass.edu and is
available on AmiNET:
-=:[ Contact ]:=-