Completion architecture

odo provides smart completion of command names, arguments and flags when typing commands. The completion architecture allows for completion handlers (i.e. pieces of code that provide the suggestions to the shell running the command) to be written entirely in go. This document describes the architecture, how to develop new completion handlers and how to activate/deactivate completions for odo.


The completion architecture relies on the posener/complete project. posener/complete relies on providing implementations of their Predictor interface:

type Predictor interface {
    Predict(Args) []string

These implementations are then bound to a complete.Command which describes how commands are supposed to be completed by the shell. While it is possible to create an external application simply for the purpose of providing completions, it made more sense for odo to have odo`itself deal with exposing possible completions. In this case, we need to hook into the `cobra command lifecycle and expose completion information before cobra takes over. This happens in the main entry point for the odo application. Completion information is provided by the createCompletion function which walks the cobra command tree and creates the complete.Command tree as it goes along, attaching completion handler to commands (for arguments) and flags.

In order to provide this information, odo allows commands to register completion handlers for their arguments and flags using completion.RegisterCommandHandler and completion.RegisterCommandFlagHandler respectively. These functions will adapt the contextualized predictor that we expose to commands to the posener/complete Predictor interface internally.

Create a new completion handler

Let’s take the example of the odo service delete command. The command expects a service name as an argument. In order to provide automatic completion, the command will register a completion handler as follows:

Create a completion.ContextualizedPredictor implementation

completion.ContextualizedPredictor is defined as type ContextualizedPredictor func(cmd *cobra.Command, args parsedArgs, context *genericclioptions.Context) []string which is a function which should return an array of possible completion strings based on the given arguments.

This function should be put in pkg/odo/util/completion/completionhandlers.go so that it could be reused across commands.

While filtering is done by posener/complete itself, automatically removing all completions not prefixed by what you’ve typed already, it might be useful to use the values provided by parsedArgs to help optimize things to avoid repeating possible completions for example.

Register the completion handler

The command should register the appropriate completion handler using completion.RegisterCommandHandler(command *cobra.Command, predictor ContextualizedPredictor) in the case of an argument completion handler or using completion.RegisterCommandFlagHandler(command *cobra.Command, flag string, predictor ContextualizedPredictor) in the case of a flag completion handler. Registering the completion handler will make it available for main.createCompletion which will then automatically create the completion information from it.