Making vim grok Obj-C

2006-04-24 03:52:00 -08:00

Like many, I use the popular open-source text editor vim. Earlier, I set about making it more usable through syntax coloring. This included tweaking its support for Objective-C.

First, mkdir ~/.vim, and cd ~/.vim. Now mkdir syntax. cp /usr/share/vim/vim62/filetype.vim . and cp /usr/share/vim/vim62/syntax/objc.vim syntax/. Then select and copy this patch:

Index: filetype.vim
--- filetype.vim 2005-03-21 02:12:47.000000000 -0800
+++ filetype.vim 2006-04-24 03:33:27.000000000 -0700
@@ -262,7 +262,7 @@
 " .h files can be C or C++, set c_syntax_for_h if you want C
 au BufNewFile,BufRead *.h
- \ if exists("c_syntax_for_h") | setf c | else | setf cpp | endif
+ \ if exists("c_syntax_for_h") | setf c | else | if exists("objc_syntax_for_h") | setf objc | else | setf cpp | endif | endif
 " TLH files are C++ headers generated by Visual C++'s #import from typelibs
 au BufNewFile,BufRead *.tlh   setf cpp
Index: syntax/objc.vim
--- syntax/objc.vim 2005-03-21 02:12:49.000000000 -0800
+++ syntax/objc.vim 2006-04-24 03:19:25.000000000 -0700
@@ -43,6 +43,8 @@
 syn match  objcDirective "@class\|@end\|@defs"
 syn match  objcDirective "@encode\|@protocol\|@selector"
+syn keyword     objcStorageClass   in out inout byref bycopy
 " Match the ObjC method types
 " NOTE: here I match only the indicators, this looks
@@ -73,6 +75,7 @@
   HiLink objcFactMethod Function
   HiLink objcStatement Statement
   HiLink objcDirective Statement
+  HiLink objcStorageClass StorageClass
   delcommand HiLink

Now type pbpaste | patch -p0.

OK, now you have modified copies of the file type detector and the Obj-C syntax coloring. Now you need a .vimrc. If you already have one, add this to it; otherwise, create it with this:

let c_gnu=1
let c_no_bracket_error=1
let objc_syntax_for_h=1
syntax enable

This makes the following changes:

Enables detection of some GCC extensions to C.
Allows {} inside of []. This lets you do compound literals inside messages; for example: [self setFrame:(NSRect){ NSZeroPoint, (NSSize){ 128.0f, 128.0f } }];
Tells vim (with my modifications, that you did above) that a .h file is an Obj-C header, not a C++ header.
syntax enable
Enables syntax-highlighting.

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3 Responses to “Making vim grok Obj-C”

  1. Wes Says:

    Hey, I found this useful. Any chance you could post an update for vim 7/Leopard?

  2. Peter Hosey Says:

    Wes: I’m using the amended files in vim 7 in both Tiger and Leopard. The only difference should be where you copy the files from.

  3. Wes Says:

    The patching didn’t work for me because the source files appear to have changed.

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