It’s not too hard to learn something new everyday about vim, but did you know there is an easy way to keep your plugins up-to-date? GetLatestVimScripts is a plugin that can do just that. You can grab the latest version from the webpage, but it’s most likely your distributions vim package already has it (Debian, Redhat, OSX, and MacPorts do anyway – check /usr/share/vim/vim72/plugin).
How does it know where to find updates? Either we manually add information about each of our plugins to a special config file, or plugin authors can embed a special comment in their scripts to be update friendly:
$ head ~/.vim/plugin/rails.vim
" rails.vim - Detect a rails application " Author: Tim Pope [email protected] " GetLatestVimScripts: 1567 1 :AutoInstall: rails.vim " URL: http://rails.vim.tpope.net/ " Install this file as plugin/rails.vim. See doc/rails.txt for details. (Grab ...
The bold-ed line will tell the plugin where to find updates. More on that in a minute. First lets create the directory where updates will be downloaded, and a configuration file will be placed:
mkdir ~/.vim/GetLatest touch ~/.vim/GetLatest/GetLatestVimScripts.dat
By default the plugin will only download the updates and not install them. To enable auto-install put the following in your .vimrc:
Now run :GetLatestVimScripts or :GLVS. Vim will analyze your plugins, see if they contain information about their download location, and add it to the .dat file. Then it will wget the plugins and install them. If you had any plugins that were update friendly, they are now updated to the latest version! Since not all plugins are update friendly, you may have to manually add lines to the GetLatest/GetLatestVimScripts.dat. The format looks like this:
ScriptID SourceID Filename -------------------------- 294 10110 :AutoInstall: Align.vim 1896 7356 :AutoInstall: allml.vim 1066 7618 :AutoInstall: cecutil.vim 1984 11852 :AutoInstall: FuzzyFinder 1984 11852 :AutoInstall: fuzzyfinder.vim 1567 11920 :AutoInstall: rails.vim 1697 8283 :AutoInstall: surround.vim
The first two lines act as comments but are required, so don’t remove them! Next is the ScriptID which is the script_id url parameter on the plugin’s vim.org webpage (ex: http://www.vim.org/scripts/script.php?script_id=642). Then there is the SourceID which is a url parameter which identifies the version of the plugin (ex: http://www.vim.org/scripts/download_script.php?src_id=8283). The ScriptID is what is compared for newer versions. If you are adding a new plugin, you can just set it to 1, run an update, and the number will automatically be set to the latest version. :AutoInstall: is a flag that signifies the update should be installed after download, and lastly Filename is just the filename of the plugin.