ZSH: whence is helpful

There's been times where checking all elements of $PATH for something is necessary – perhaps for debugging, overriding purposes, or otherwise.

One liners are handy for this – I'm certainly not one to shy away from a neato shell one-liner to accomplish the job (or use find with some shell replacements). However! Code that you don't have to write is great in flow state (even if its a fun thought exercise that scratches an itch..) – ZSH lends itself to the task with a built in: whence (its the same builtin behind which). Check the manpage for the details, my copy (edited to fit nicely) says:

whence [ -vcwfpamsS ] [ -x num ] name ...

  For each name, indicate how it would be interpreted if used as a command

  If name is not an alias, built-in command, external command, shell
  function, hashed command, or a reserved word, the exit status shall be
  non-zero, and -- if -v, -c, or -w was passed -- a message will be written
  to standard output. (This is different from other shells that write that
  message to standard error.)

  whence is most useful when name is only the last path component of a
  command, i.e. does not include a `/'; in particular, pattern matching
  only succeeds if just the non-directory component of the command is

  -v     Produce a more verbose report.

  -c     Print the results in a csh-like format. This takes precedence over -v.

  -w     For each name, print `name: word' where word is one of alias,
         builtin, command, function, hashed, reserved or none, according as
         name corresponds to an alias, a built-in command, an external
         command, a shell function, a command defined with the hash
         builtin, a reserved word, or is not recognised. This takes
         precedence over -v and -c.

  -f     Causes the contents of a shell function to be displayed, which
         would otherwise not happen unless the -c flag were used.

  -p     Do a path search for name even if it is an alias, reserved word,
         shell function or builtin.

  -a     Do a search for all occurrences of name throughout the command
         path. Normally only the first occurrence is printed.

  -m     The arguments are taken as patterns (pattern characters should be
         quoted), and the information is displayed for each command
         matching one of these patterns.

  -s     If a pathname contains symlinks, print the symlink-free pathname
         as well.

  -S     As -s, but if the pathname had to be resolved by following
         multiple symlinks, the intermediate steps are printed, too. The
         symlink re‐ solved at each step might be anywhere in the path.

  -x num Expand tabs when outputting shell functions using the -c option.
         This has the same effect as the -x option to the functions builtin.

So the typical usage I'm looking for is:

# show builtin & the command
whence -a time
# giving this on NixOS (first being a builtin)

# or checking which `git` exectuables exist in (current, semi-contrived) PATH
whence -ap git
# giving this on Nix-on-NonNixOS host