Processing vim buffers through an external program on save, is a technique that is probably in use, and that I have not found documented anywhere, so here we go. Skip to the details for the entertaining example.

I wanted to integrate egt with TaskWarrior so that every time I am editing an egt project file in vim, if I write a line in a certain way then a new taskwarrior task is created. Also, I have never written a vim plugin, and I don't want to dive into another rabbit hole just yet.

Lynoure brought to my attention that taskwiki processes things when the file is saved, so I thought that I can probably get a long way by piping the file from vim into egt and reading it back before saving.

I created a new egt annotate command that reads a project file, tweaks it, and then prints it out; I opened a project file in vim; I typed :%!egt annotate %:p --stdin and saw that it could be done.

I find the result quite fun: I type 15 March: 18:00-21:00 in a log in egt, save the file, and it becomes 15 March: 18:00-21:00 3h. I do something in TaskWarrior, save the file in egt, and the lines that are TaskWarrior tasks update with the new task states.


Here's a step by step example of how to hook into vim in this way.

First thing, create a filter script that processes text files in some way. Let's call this /usr/local/bin/pyvimshell:


import sys
import subprocess

for line in sys.stdin:
    print(line.rstrip(), file=sys.stdout)

line = line.strip()
if line == "$":
elif line.startswith("$"):
    out = subprocess.check_output(["sh", "-c", line[1:].strip()], universal_newlines=True)
    if not out.endswith("\n"):
    print("$ ", file=sys.stdout)

Then let's create a new filetype in ~/.vim/filetype.vim for our special magic text files:

if exists("did_load_filetypes")

augroup filetypedetect
  au! BufNewFile,BufRead *.term setf SillyShell
augroup END

If you create a file example.term, open it in vim and type :set ft it should say SillyShell.

Finally, the hook in ~/.vim/after/ftplugin/SillyShell.vim:

function! SillyShellRun()
autocmd BufWritePre,FileWritePre <buffer> :silent call SillyShellRun()

Now you can create a file example.term, open it in vim, type $ ls, save it, and suddenly you have a terminal with infinite scrollback.

For egt, I actually want to preserve my cursor position across saves, and egt also needs to know the path to the project file, so here is the egt version of the hook:

function! EgtAnnotate()
    let l:cur_pos = getpos(".")
    :%!egt annotate --stdin %:p
    call setpos(".", l:cur_pos)
autocmd BufWritePre,FileWritePre <buffer> :silent call EgtAnnotate()

I find this adorably dangerous. Have fun.

pdo debian eng sw

2016-03-16 10:16:12+01:00