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A vim plugin that automatically compiles a CoffeeScript to a JSMin minified Javascript file on save
Branch: master

Espresso Vim

Espresso is a simple compiler plugin for vim that takes CoffeeScript files and automatically compiles and minifies them.

DO NOT LEARN from this plugin, as it was hacked together by someone who has never written a vim plugin before and very likely did a horrific job of it. I liberally copied and edited from the pylint.vim plugin (, although any deficiencies in this script are completely my own fault.

The syntax/coffee.vim file is from the awesome Mick Koch, and his vim-coffee-script project available at:


This depends on a Unixy environment. You should obviously have the CoffeeScript executable installed (otherwise, why are you looking for a vim plugin for it? :) as well as JSMin.

Mick Koch's syntax/coffee.vim file should be placed in ~/.vim/syntax directory, and the compiler/espresso.vim file should be placed in the ~/.vim/compiler directory.

The 'coffee' executable and the 'jsmin' executable should be available from the PATH environment variable.

Add the following lines to the autocmd section of your .vimrc (either global or ~/.vimrc)

" Espresso / CoffeeScript settings
au BufRead,BufNewFile *.coffee set filetype=coffee
autocmd FileType coffee compiler espresso


By default, espresso.vim will run everytime you save a CoffeeScript file. In the event of an error, it dumps stderr to the QuickFix window, mostly because I haven't figured out how to do it better (patches welcome). :)

If there are no errors compiling CoffeeScript, it replaces the '.coffee' extension of the file being edited with '.js' (i.e. becomes test.js) and passes that file to jsmin, which writes a '.min.js' file (i.e. -> test.js -> test.min.js).

If you don't want espresso to run everytime you save, a.) maybe this plugin isn't for you :) and b.) you will want to put the following in your .vimrc

let g:espresso_onwrite = 0

However, note that currently (on my system anyway) :make doesn't work properly, so this will pretty much render the thing useless.

The plugin supports removing the plain '.js' file for cleanliness (which is how I usually run it), but I'm too frightened to release a plugin that removes files by default. So, if you want to enable this behavior, consider yourself warned and put the following in your .vimrc

let g:espresso_remove_raw_js = 1

If the extra little echo statements at the bottom get annoying (i.e. the minified file.min.js and (removed file.js)) then you can add the following parameter to your .vimrc

let g:espresso_noisy = 0


I seriously, SERIOUSLY invite all comments, issues, etc. If you see something that is done horribly, dangerously, inefficiently, or you can just do it better, please leave an Issue. If you know of a project that does this same thing but doesn't kill kittens, also let me know.

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