This feature is aimed at providing shortcuts for frequently used commands like illustrate, dump, explain, describe, quit, help etc. This feature is inspired from postgres(psql) shortcuts. I tried implementing a simple shortcut for quitting the grunt shell using \q with very minimal changes. I think this feature will help save many keystrokes for users. If this feature looks useful I can submit the current patch for review and go ahead with implementing the following shortcuts
\i <alias> - illustrate
\e <alias> - explain
\de <alias> - describe
\du <alias> - dump
\h - help
This will also be useful to view information about tables/statistics stored in HCatalog similar to the way psql does.
\dt <alias> - display table
\dm - display metadata
except \t, \r and \n delimiters we should be able to use all other characters as shortcuts.
Please let me know your thoughts.