Quickly Locate Faulty Plugins
Bisectly is a plugin-manager-agnostic fault-localisation tool for finding which Vim plugin is causing you nose-bleeds.
Use this if you want to manually test every activated Vim instance by hand. See the Automated Operation for using a fixed command or script to automate the hunt.
Start Vim normally and then type
You will be presented with a fresh instance of Vim. Test if your
problem still exists. If it does, type
:Zombies to signify your
disgust and frustration with this hellish affliction. If the problem
has magically vanished then type
:Unicorns and watch them dance gaily
in the fields with wild abandon. Of course, for the morbidly lazy or
chronically serious, these two commands can be more simply entered as
This process will repeat several times over as your plugin set is
whittled down in pursuit of the culprit behind your woes. Hopefully
the fault exists in a single plugin. If so, Bisectly should be able to
tell you which one that is. If you answer
:Unicorns all the way
through, then Bisectly will complain that there was no fault found.
You might want to reconsider your tests or the consistency with which
you applied them if you get this message.
Note that this will not work in gVim. You must use Vim in a terminal.
If you use gVim, it will appear to hang when you run
because you can’t see the fresh instance of Vim that was launched.
Using an inline expression:
:Bisectly if exists(':Tabularize') | Zombies | else | Unicorns | endif
Using a test script:
:Bisectly so f-jumps-over-lines.vim
This will execute the script
f-jumps-over-lines.vimin every test instance, reporting that the “faulty” plugin is vim-fanfingtastic (if you have it installed). The test script should call
:Zombiesas appropriate. Here, appropriate means
:Zombieswhen the behaviour is present,
:Unicornswithout — despite your aesthetic take on the issue. See the
View_command.vimscripts in the Bisectly release for examples.
Binary Search Fault Location (BSFL)
:Bisectly uses binary search (space partitioning) to
quickly reduce the number of test cases it has to perform to locate
the fault. This usually works well, but the algorithm can result in
occasional spurious misses or hits. A slower but more thorough linear
search is available with the
:LSFL command. It has the same
interface as its
:Bisectly counterpart. For completeness,
a synonym for
Because Bisectly disables clumps of your
'runtimepath' at each turn,
you might occasionally get some spurious error messages or warnings as
the Vim instance starts. These messages can be caused by complaining
plugins that are missing part of their own architecture (their
mainline code is loaded, say, but their
/after/ code was excised from
this run) or a plugin they depend on.
One thing to keep an eye out for in your tests is a change in the
negative-test behaviour. For instance, you know your tests behave a
certain way when the bug you’re hunting is not present. You know
when it is present, clearly. After a few iterations like this, be
conscious of new and different messages or failures or responses that
superficially look like a negative-hit, but might indicate that your
bug is trying to activate but can’t because a dependent plugin is
missing. In that case, incorrectly responding with
:Unicorns here will
result in Bisectly ultimately telling you that it couldn’t locate a
fault, or worse, misrepresenting the origin of the fault.