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For more information about LiveScript see

Installing and Using

  1. Install tpope's pathogen into ~/.vim/autoload/ and add the following line to your ~/.vimrc:

     call pathogen#infect()

    Be aware that it must be added before any filetype plugin indent on lines according to the install page:

    Note that you need to invoke the pathogen functions before invoking "filetype plugin indent on" if you want it to load ftdetect files. On Debian (and probably other distros), the system vimrc does this early on, so you actually need to "filetype off" before "filetype plugin indent on" to force reloading.

  1. Create, and change into, the ~/.vim/bundle/ directory:

     $ mkdir -p ~/.vim/bundle
     $ cd ~/.vim/bundle
  2. Make a clone of the vim-ls repository:

     $ git clone git://
     $ ls

That's it. Pathogen should handle the rest. Opening a file with a .ls extension or a Slakefile will load everything.


  1. Change into the ~/.vim/bundle/vim-ls/ directory:

     $ cd ~/.vim/bundle/vim-ls
  2. Pull in the latest changes:

     $ git pull

Everything will then be brought up to date.

LiveScriptMake: Compile the Current File

The LiveScriptMake command compiles the current file and parses any errors.

The full signature of the command is:

:[silent] LiveScriptMake[!] [ls-OPTIONS]...

By default, LiveScriptMake shows all compiler output and jumps to the first line reported as an error by livescript:


Compiler output can be hidden with silent:

:silent LiveScriptMake

Line-jumping can be turned off by adding a bang:


Options given to LiveScriptMake are passed along to livescript:

:LiveScriptMake --bare

LiveScriptMake can be manually loaded for a file with:

:compiler ls

Recompile on write

To recompile a file when it's written, add an autocmd like this to your vimrc:

au BufWritePost *.ls silent LiveScriptMake!

All of the customizations above can be used, too. This one compiles silently and with the -b option, but shows any errors:

au BufWritePost *.ls silent LiveScriptMake! -b | cwindow | redraw!

The redraw! command is needed to fix a redrawing quirk in terminal vim, but can removed for gVim.

Default compiler options

The LiveScriptMake command passes any options in the livescript_make_options variable along to the compiler. You can use this to set default options:

let livescript_make_options = '--bare'

Path to compiler

To change the compiler used by LiveScriptMake and LiveScriptCompile, set livescript_compiler to the full path of an executable or the filename of one in your $PATH:

let livescript_compiler = '/usr/bin/livescript'

This option is set to livescript by default.

LiveScriptCompile: Compile Snippets of LiveScript

The LiveScriptCompile command shows how the current file or a snippet of LiveScript is compiled to JavaScript. The full signature of the command is:

:[RANGE] LiveScriptCompile [watch|unwatch] [vert[ical]] [WINDOW-SIZE]

Calling LiveScriptCompile without a range compiles the whole file.

Calling LiveScriptCompile with a range, like in visual mode, compiles the selected snippet of LiveScript.

The scratch buffer can be quickly closed by hitting the q key.

Using vert splits the LiveScriptCompile buffer vertically instead of horizontally:

:LiveScriptCompile vert

Set the ls_compile_vert variable to split the buffer vertically by default:

let ls_compile_vert = 1

The initial size of the LiveScriptCompile buffer can be given as a number:

:LiveScriptCompile 4

Watch (live preview) mode

Writing some code and then exiting insert mode automatically updates the compiled JavaScript buffer.

Use watch to start watching a buffer (vert is also recommended):

:LiveScriptCompile watch vert

After making some changes in insert mode, hit escape and your code will be recompiled. Changes made outside of insert mode don't trigger this recompile, but calling LiveScriptCompile will compile these changes without any bad effects.

To get synchronized scrolling of a LiveScript and LiveScriptCompile buffer, set scrollbind on each:

:setl scrollbind

Use unwatch to stop watching a buffer:

:LiveScriptCompile unwatch

Configure Syntax Highlighting

Add these lines to your vimrc to disable the relevant syntax group.

Disable trailing whitespace error

Trailing whitespace is highlighted as an error by default. This can be disabled with:

hi link lsSpaceError NONE

Disable reserved words error

Reserved words like function and var are highlighted as an error where they're not allowed in LiveScript. This can be disabled with:

hi link lsReservedError NONE

Tune Vim for LiveScript

Changing these core settings can make vim more LiveScript friendly.

Fold by indentation

Folding by indentation works well for LiveScript functions and classes. To fold by indentation in LiveScript files, add this line to your vimrc:

au BufNewFile,BufReadPost *.ls setl foldmethod=indent nofoldenable

With this, folding is disabled by default but can be quickly toggled per-file by hitting zi. To enable folding by default, remove nofoldenable:

au BufNewFile,BufReadPost *.ls setl foldmethod=indent

Two-space indentation

To get standard two-space indentation in LiveScript files, add this line to your vimrc:

au BufNewFile,BufReadPost *.ls setl shiftwidth=2 expandtab


LiveScript support for Vim







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