Convert textmate bundles to yasnippet format
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Latest commit b57c06d Sep 2, 2014


A ruby tool to convert textmate snippet bundles to yasnippet format.

These rails-centric conversions already bundled:

  • ruby-mode
  • html-mode
  • rails-mode

Make sure you cloned yasmate with the --recursive option to fetch submodules of the actual "tmbundles" maintained by the Textmate community. In yasmate's top dir:

gem install plist trollop        # two dependencies needed first
rake convert_bundles             # will convert ruby, rails and html bundles

Then, in your .emacs file

(add-to-list 'load-path "/path/to/yasnippet")
(require 'yasnippet)
;; use just the yasmate snippet collection
(setq yas-snippet-dirs '("~/.emacs.d/snippets" "/path/to/yasmate/snippets"))
(yas-global-mode 1)

Open some rails file (model, app, etc) and start using the textmate snippets.

How to convert foo.tmbundle

  1. Add a git submodule bundles/foo.tmbundle pointing to the tmbundle repo.

  2. Add a snippets/foo-mode directory, assuming foo-mode is the corresponding emacs major-mode.

  3. Run yasmate.rb -d bundles/foo.tmbundle -o snippets/foo-mode

That's it, your converted snippets now live under snippets/foo-mode

It messed up on snippet XYZ!!!

Yep, it's unlikely be perfect.

yasmate.rb has some rules for translating bits of Textmate syntax to yasnippet's embedded elisp syntax. I call these substitutions. For example, this is Textmate


is this in yasnippet


Those builtin rules help a lot, but some textmate bundles have very specific substitutions that have to be added into the mix in a per-bundle fashion.

So there are these snippets/foo-mode/.yasmate-extra-substitutions.el files that help with that.

Here's how it works:

  1. you follow the steps I gave above

  2. you notice that yasmate.rb also created a snippets/foo-mode/.yasmate-unknown-substitutions.el file. You notice the unknown substitution for the snippet XYZ that didn't work

  3. you grab that bit, correct it, and paste it into a new snippets/foo-mode/.yasmate-extra-substitutions.el

The format of the substitution files sucks

Yep! It's very ... inventive. And wrong. They should be pure elisp files and yasmate.rb should be rewritten in emacs-lisp to spare the dependency on ruby.