ChatGPT and File Renaming

Table of Contents

Backstory

While writing and the previous post I ran into an “issue” that post file names had spaces in them and special characters like :, I could rename them manually but why not use script to do this automatically?

The Programming Asking

After a quick web search I understood that this will be hard to do (a lot of sed and bash tricks, sounds like data loss), so I asked ChatGPT to write the script. After countless tweak requests and git restore ./ we have finally got it, script that works for English and Russian, it makes everything lowercase, replaces spaces with dashes and removes spacial characters like said :, I don’t know how it works but here is it:

#!/usr/bin/env bash

# Made by ChatGPT and countless tweak requests
# Script for renaming files to be web-friendly (kebab-case without special characters)

# Function to rename files
rename_files() {
  local dir="$1"
  cd "$dir" || exit 1

  for file in *; do
    if [ -f "$file" ]; then
      # Get the file extension (if any)
      ext=""
      if [[ $file == *.* ]]; then
        ext=".${file##*.}"
        new_name="${file%$ext}"
      else
        new_name="$file"
      fi

      # Normalize non-ASCII characters to their closest ASCII representation and remove consecutive dashes
      new_name=$(echo "$new_name" | sed 's/[^[:alnum:]\.]/-/g; s/[[:space:]_]\+/-/g; s/-\+/-/g')

      # Remove leading and trailing dashes
      new_name="${new_name#-}"
      new_name="${new_name%-}"

      # Convert the filename to lowercase
      new_name="${new_name,,}"

      # Add back the file extension (if any)
      new_name="$new_name$ext"

      # Check if the new name is different from the old one
      if [ "$file" != "$new_name" ]; then
        mv -i "$file" "$new_name"
        echo "Renamed: $file -> $new_name"
      fi
    fi
  done
}

# Check if a directory argument is provided, otherwise use the current directory
if [ $# -eq 1 ]; then
  target_directory="$1"
else
  target_directory="."
fi

# Call the function with the specified directory
rename_files "$target_directory"

The script can take directory name as an argument (e.g posts) and rename everything in it, that’s all it does :)

Anyway, I have wrote this to let you know why the script may break your files and appreciate how useful GPT can be sometimes.


Go to TopFile an Issue