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Implements functionality similar to `uniquify' to make `recentf' results bearable.
(require 'recentf)
;; Implement functionality similar to uniquify to make recentf results bearable
;; Requires s.el and dash.el - awesome libraries from Magnar Sveen
;; Hat-tip : Baishampayan Ghose for the clojure implementation at
;; https://gist.github.com/ghoseb/8432086
(require 's)
(require 'dash)
(defun explode (d)
"Explode a directory name to its subcomponents."
(s-split "/" d))
(defun tails* (coll acc)
"Return successive tails of a collection."
(if (cdr coll)
(tails* (cdr coll) (cons coll acc))
(cons coll acc)))
(defun tails (coll)
"Return successive tails of a collection."
(tails* coll '()))
(defun paths (d)
"Given a single directory, return all the possible sub-paths / name
representations for it."
(mapcar (lambda (xs) (s-join "/" xs)) (tails (explode d))))
(defun index-coll (tab coll)
"Given a table and a collection, add each entry of the
collection into the table. If the key already exists, inc it's
value by 1"
(mapcar (lambda (x) (puthash x (+ 1 (gethash x tab 0)) tab)) coll)
tab)
(defun vm-uniquify (filenames)
"Given a bunch of filenames (as returned by `recentf-list'),
simplify the names to make them more easily readable."
(let* ((expanded-paths (mapcar 'paths filenames))
(tab (make-hash-table :test 'equal))
(freqs (mapcar (apply-partially 'index-coll tab) expanded-paths)))
(mapcar (apply-partially '-first (lambda (x) (= 1 (gethash x tab 0))))
expanded-paths)))
;; Mastering Emacs + some of my own elisp
(defun ido-recentf-open ()
"Use `ido-completing-read' to \\[find-file] a recent file"
(interactive)
(let* ((unique-filenames (vm-uniquify recentf-list))
(filename-map (-partition 2 (-interleave unique-filenames
recentf-list)))
(short-filename (ido-completing-read "Choose recent file: "
unique-filenames
nil
t)))
(if short-filename
(find-file (cadr (assoc short-filename filename-map)))
(message "Aborting"))))
(global-set-key (kbd "C-x C-r") 'ido-recentf-open)
@ghoseb

Nice! I'd recommend that you name your custom fns like vm/uniquify instead of vm-uniquify. More readable and keeps the namespacing separate from the fn name itself.

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