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UCTAGS(7) Universal-ctags UCTAGS(7)

uctags - Incompatibilities between Universal-ctags and Exuberant-ctags

uctags [options] [file(s)]
uetags [options] [file(s)]

This page describes major incompatible changes introduced to Universal-ctags forked from Exuberant-ctags.

When applying mappings for a name of given source file, Exuberant-ctags tests file name patterns AFTER file extensions ( e-map-order). Universal-ctags does this differently; it tests file name patterns BEFORE file extensions ( u-map-order).
This incompatible change is introduced to deal with the following situation:
"build.xml" as a source file,
The "Ant" parser declares it handles a file name pattern "build.xml", and
The "XML" parser declares it handles a file extension "xml".

Which parser should be used for parsing "build.xml"? The assumption of Universal-ctags is the user may want to use the "Ant" parser; the file name pattern it declares is more specific than the file extension that the "XML" parser declares. However, e-map-order chooses the "XML" parser.
So Universal-ctags uses the u-map-order even though it introduces an incompatibility.
--list-map-extensions=language and --list-map-patterns=language options are helpful to verify and the file extensions and the file name patterns of given language.

Universal-ctags introduces "F/fileScope" extra as the alternative to --file-scope option.
Providing the two way to control the same thing in Universal-ctags internal can cause a trouble.
A user, expecting "--file-scope=yes" is enabled by default, gives "--extras=q". The intention of the user may be just enabling "q/qualified". However, "--extras=q" is evaluated as "disabling all extras including F/fileScope, then enabling only q/qualified". Unexpectedly the command line becomes as if "--file-scope=no" is set.
In this case, the user should set "--extras=+q" instead of "--extras=q".

Some options have <LANG> as parameterized parts in their name like --foo-<LANG>=... or --<LANG>-foo=.... The most of all such options in Exuberant-ctags have the former form, --foo-<LANG>=.... The exception is --<LANG>-kinds.
Universal-ctags uses the former form for all <LANG> parameterized option. Use --kinds-<LANG> instead of --<LANG>-kinds in Universal-ctags. --<LANG>-kinds still works but it will be removed in the future.
The former form may be friendly to shell completion engines.

The kind name "file" is reserved. Using it as part of kind spec in --regex-<LANG> option is now disallowed.

File paths for preload files are changed. Universal-ctags doesn't load "~/.ctags" at starting up time. See "FILES" section of ctags(1).

A kind letter "F" and a kind name "file" are reserved in the main part. A parser cannot have a kind conflicting with these reserved ones. Some incompatible changes are introduced to follow the above rule.
Cobol's "file" kind is renamed to "fileDesc" because the kind name "file" is reserved.
Ruby's "F" (singletonMethod) is changed to "S".
SQL's "F" (field) is changed to "E".


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