Work around GTK+ open type ahead find

Typeahead find in gvim’s GTK+ open dialog box is driving me bananas, but today I discovered a trick I hadn’t seen before that will help work around it with a bit of relearning.

For those who aren’t familiar with the problem, John Goerzen describes how painful this feature is for large directories. Just imagine, then, having to regularly deal with large directories on particularly slow, remote filesystems. Argh. Unusable!

The trick I came up with to work around the problem is to first enter the path incorrectly and then fix it afterwards. Type a blank first, then the whole filepath, then [Home] to return to the beginning of the line, and finally [Delete] to fix the path, and [Enter] to open the file.

It still takes an awfully long time for gvim to read the file, but it’s a great improvement over either trying to type the filename blind, or waiting for each directory to be scanned. Ultimately, these files should be moved off the remote filesystem and into subversion, but there are cross-platform compatibility issues that prevent me from doing this at this time (OpenVMS + Linux + win32).

I’m still looking for a real solution. In the comments to John’s post, someone suggested there is a gconf setting that controls this, but so far I haven’t been able to find it. So for now, I’ll have to live with this hack.