Hacking Thy Fearful Symmetry

Hacker, hacker coding bright

Vim IDE: nerdier than NERDtree

May 24, 2018

Quite often, when peeps talk of using Vim as an IDE, Nerdtree is pointed out as the way to navigate files. Mind you, with perfectly good reasons; that plugin is awesome and I relish using it. But I often found myself wishing the organization of my files to go beyond alphabetical sorting. I'd want to group files thematically, put the important ones up top and the boring ones way down, totally ignore the usual suspects.

As it is, there is another vim plugin, project.vim that does most of that. Most, but not all. That's unacceptable, and needs to be rectified.

The setup

One of my goals here was not to reinvent the wheel, but rather add hubcaps to an already existing one. Which means that the final setup is a tad patchworky.

First it has to be said that I'm using nvim rather than the classical vim. Which is important because I'm running my Neovim::RPC as well. Which is also important because the hacking I've done atop project.vim is in the form of a Neovim::RPC plugin, which -- if you already have Neovim::RPC up and running -- you can get it via:


$ git clone https://github.com/yanick/Neovim-Rpc
$ cd Neovim-Rpc
$ git checkout pvim
$ mkdir -p ~/.config/nvim/perl5lib/Neovim/RPC/Plugin
$ cp -r lib/Neovim/RPC/Plugin/Pvim* ~/.config/nvim/perl5lib/Neovim/RPC/Plugin

Then we need to add some vim configuration.


" I'm using 'plugged' for my vim plugins

""" vim-plug {{{
    call plug#begin('~/.config/nvim/plugged')

    Plug 'yanick/vim-project'

    call plug#end()
""" }}}

""" projects {{{

    map  :Project .git/vim.project

    au BufNewFile,BufRead vim.project set filetype=project

    au FileType project set noswapfile
    au FileType project nmap  :call PvimRefresh()
    au FileType project vmap  :call PvimSection()

    function! PvimRefresh() 
        call Nvimx_request( 'load_plugin', 'Pvim' )
        call Nvimx_request('pvim_update')
    endfunction

    function! PvimSection() range 
        call Nvimx_request( 'load_plugin', 'Pvim' )
        call Nvimx_request( 'pvim_section', a:firstline, a:lastline )
    endfunction

""" }}}

Oh yeah, and because I'm a lazy bugger, I also defined neosnippets to go with project files:


snippet     section
options     head
    ${1:name}     Files=${2:$1} {
        ${0}
    }

snippet project
alias   pro
options head
    ${1:project}=`getcwd()` CD=. 

And just like that, we're good to go.

The way it works

Assuming that vim is open in the root directory of your project, hitting F10 triggers the project sidebar. The behavior and display of that sidebar is driven by the project.vim plugin, except for what will be said here. The project file, by the way, is assumed to be .git/vim.project.

F5 refreshes the listing of files. All files already listed will stay in the sections where they are. The global listing order is ungrouped files, sections, and ignore patterns. New files are plonked in the most specific section it belongs to. Files that disappeared will be prepended with a #. Files and directories can be ignored via a #! <regex> line -- where the regex is anchored at the beginning of the file name.

Selecting lines in visual mode and hitting F4 will create a section, and will set the directory of that section to be the deepest common subdirectory to all files selected.

And that's it. Wanna see it in action?

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About the author

Yanick Champoux
Perl necrohacker , ACP writer, orchid lover. Slightly bonker all around. he/him/his