Finding Vim snippets in Bash


A little Bash program (with completions) to show Vim snippets.

I’ve started using snippets for Vim lately, and one thing that sometimes drives me crazy is that I don’t remember the clever (AHEM 🙄) name I gave to some of them.

This usually got me into hunting for the right file, listing all snippets and then using it. Veeeery efficient.

So enter snippets, a little Bash program to show them on the command line:


_snippets_completion() {
   local alts=''
   if [ "$COMP_CWORD" -eq 1 ] ; then
      alts=$(ls ~/.vim/snippets | sed -e 's/\.snippets//')
   elif [ "$COMP_CWORD" -eq 2 ] ; then
      alts=$(grep -Po '^snippet *\K.*' ~/.vim/snippets/"${COMP_WORDS[1]}.snippets")
   COMPREPLY=($(compgen -W "$alts" "${COMP_WORDS["$COMP_CWORD"]}"))

if [[ "${BASH_SOURCE[0]}" = "${0}" ]] ; then
   if [ $# -eq 0 ] ; then
      ls ~/.vim/snippets | sed -e 's/\.snippets//'
   elif [ $# -eq 1 ] ; then
      grep -Po '^snippet *\K.*' ~/.vim/snippets/"$1.snippets"
      cat ~/.vim/snippets/"$1".snippets \
         | sed -ne "/^snippet $2/,/^snippet/p" \
         | sed -e '${/^snippet /d}'
   complete -F _snippets_completion snippets

Also here.

When called without parameters, it shows which file types have snippets associated (hunting them in ~/.vim/snippets/):

$ snippets 

When called with one parameters (that is, a file type), it shows all snippets available for that type:

$ snippets perl

Last, when called with two parameters, it prints the specific snippet in the specific file type:

$ snippets perl plb
snippet plb
	#!/usr/bin/env perl
	use v5.24;
	use warnings;
	use experimental 'signatures';
	no warnings 'experimental::signatures';

The thing that makes it much more useful, though, is the support for Bash auto-completion, as the program also doubles down as a script that can be sourced, e.g. in ~/.bashrc:

if [ -x ~/bin/snippets ] ; then
    . ~/bin/snippets

This allows using the tab to make Bash do the hard work:

(Yes, the little pauses are me doing TAB - TAB on the keyboard!)

Want to know more about Bash autocomplete? I read this tutorial: How to create a Bash completion script and found it useful (although, I have to admit, I skimmed most of the comment in search for the code examples).


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