vopher - acquire vim-plugins the gopher-way
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VOPHER - Acquire vim-plugins the gopher-way


A screenshot showing a list of plugins managed by vopher

Usage: vopher [flags] <action>


  -all=false: don't keep <plugin>.zip around [prune]
  -dir=".": directory to extract the plugins to
  -dry=false: dry-run, show what would happen [prune, clean]
  -f="": path to list of plugins
  -filter=: operate on given plugins only; can be given multiple times
  -force=false: force certain actions [prune, clean]
  -list-supported-archives=false: list all supported archive types
  -ui="oneline": ui mode ('simple' or 'oneline', works with `update` action)


  update - acquires the given plugins from '-f <list>'
  search - searches http://vimawesome.com/ to list some plugins. Anything
           after this is considered the query
  check  - checks plugins from '-f <list>' for newer versions
  clean  - removes given plugins from the '-f <list>'
           * use '-force' to delete plugins.
  prune  - removes all entries from -dir <folder> which are not referenced in
           '-f <list>'.
           * use '-force' to delete plugins.
           * use '-all=true' to delete <plugin>.zip files.
  status - lists plugins in '-dir <folder>' and marks them accordingly
           * 'v' means vopher is tracking the plugin in your '-f <list>'
           * 'm' means vopher is tracking the plugin and it's missing. You can
             fetch it with the 'update' action.
           * no mark means that the plugin is not tracked by vopher
  sample - prints a sample vopher.list to stdout

Building / Installation

To build vopher, a working Go compiler is needed. Then do this:

$> cd /somewhere
$> env GOPATH=`pwd` go get -v github.com/mgumz/vopher

This will fetch and build vopher in the "somewhere/bin" directory. Copy it to any place you need it.

To build vopher with support for LZMA:

$> env GOPATH=`pwd` go get -v -tags lzma github.com/mgumz/vopher

If you've already cloned vopher and are rebuilding for tests or contributing, do the following:

$> go build

The vopher-file format

The vopher-file is pretty simple:

# a comment starts with a '#'
# empty lines are ignored

# fetches vim-fugitive, current HEAD

# fetches vim-fugitive, tagged release 'v2.1'

# fetches vim-fugitive, name the output-folder 'foo'
foo https://github.com/tpope/vim-fugitive

# fetches vim-fugitive, apply some options to the
# parser/extractor
https://github.com/tpope/vim-fugitive option1=foo option2=bar

Supported archive types

  • .zip
  • .vba and .vba.gz (see Charles E. Campbell)
  • .tar.gz, .tar.bz2, .tar.bzip2
  • optional: .tar.lzma, .tar.xz

Sample session

$> cd ~/.vim

Acquire all of the plugins referenced in 'vopher.list':

$> vopher -f vopher.list -dir bundles up
vopher: (10/10) [=================== 100% ====================]

Let's check for updates / new stuff:

$> vopher -f vopher.list -dir bundles -ui simple check
## goldenview - https://github.com/zhaocai/GoldenView.Vim#V1.3.5

- master commits:

  31af855bd5 2014-09-08T08:41:49-04:00 Merge pull request #15 from lllama/patch-1
  0bb152d6d3 2014-08-18T10:55:38+03:00 Update Installation instructions with correct git link
  495a5cef06 2013-10-28T10:18:34-04:00 [admin] update zl
  c6c669b30d 2013-10-28T10:18:34-04:00 [minor] Do not open empty buffer by default
  f726e8885f 2013-10-28T10:18:34-04:00 [minor] tweak minheight
  91d52f86e6 2013-10-28T03:23:52-07:00 Merge pull request #10 from jvanbaarsen/patch-1
  39e97ad002 2013-10-28T10:53:41+01:00 Update README.md
  60f6c3e5a8 2013-05-07T21:42:48-04:00 [admin] update vimup message
  323a1f6c85 2013-05-07T21:17:45-04:00 [admin] update zl.vim
  0b1f325ba0 2013-04-27T20:23:37-04:00 [update] increase GoldenMinHeight
 *c23469a0bc 2013-04-26T17:10:53-04:00 [fix] Dirdiff
  c118d96660 2013-04-26T16:37:33-04:00 [minor] update GoldenViewTrace code

- commits:

 *c23469a0bc 2013-04-26T17:10:53-04:00 [fix] Dirdiff
  c118d96660 2013-04-26T16:37:33-04:00 [minor] update GoldenViewTrace code

- tags:

 *V1.3.5 2013-04-26T21:11:48Z V1.3.5
  V1.3.0 2013-04-22T21:57:01Z V1.3.0

GoldenView.Vim#V1.3.5 is referenced in the vopher.list-file. vopher tries to guess what commit this actually is and marks that line with a '*'. so, you can easily see that there seems to be no new release for 'GoldenView', allthough there are some new commits.

So, what's in my 'bundles' directory and how do they relate to my vopher.list-file?

$> vopher -f vopher.list -dir bundles status
v  EasyDigraph.vim
v  goldenview
v  unicode.vim
vm vim-fugitive
v  vim-go

Lines marked with 'v' are plugins referenced in the vopher.list. 'vm' marked lines are referenced plugins which are missing (acquire them by using the 'update' action). lines without a special prefix are folders inside 'bundles' but they are not handled by vopher.

I need more color! Are there any colorschemes available?

$> vopher search colors
5856 vim-colors-solarized precision colorscheme for the vim text editor
   github: https://github.com/altercation/vim-colors-solarized

1151 vim-colorschemes one colorscheme pack to rule them all!
   github: https://github.com/flazz/vim-colorschemes

482 vividchalk.vim vividchalk.vim: a colorscheme strangely reminiscent of Vibrant Ink for a certain OS X editor
      vim: http://www.vim.org/scripts/script.php?script_id=1891
   github: https://github.com/tpope/vim-vividchalk

459 vim-css-color Highlight colors in css files
   github: https://github.com/ap/vim-css-color

416 unite-colorscheme A unite.vim plugin
      vim: http://www.vim.org/scripts/script.php?script_id=3318
   github: https://github.com/ujihisa/unite-colorscheme


There is no vim-integration!!

Yep, nothing to see on this front here .. yet. I need some means to exchange messages between vim and vopher in an asyncronous way, without the need for +clientserver. I am also not so sure that the effort on integrating vopher into the Vim-ui is really worth it: I use vim as my text editor, not as a means to constantly updating and managing the plugins I use. Thus, I consider using vopher a rare case. Using the command line outside of vim is fine for me right now.


pathogen (which is what I use) has no means on it's own to acquire plugins.

vundle needs git. It fetches the whole history of any plugin. I am not interested in the history, I am just interested in a certain snapshot for a certain vim-plugin. In addition to that: the installation of git on Windows takes up ~ 250mb. The sum of my vim-plugins take up ~ 4mb.

Neobundle depends on git or svn.

Why not use curl/python/ruby???

curl is easy to install and available everywhere. But it's a bit stupid on it's own. I would have to write a lot of what vopher does on it's own in a real programming language 'x'. Or VimL (vimscript). Which would lead to even more code and maybe an additional interpreter which might need even more stuff. On Windows the curl-binary which supports https weighs ~ 1.6mb. A python installer for Windows weighs ~ 17mb, installed ~ 60mb. Yeah, one could create a standalone binary with something like PyInstaller. This does not give anything substantially better than the golang-produced binary and it's builtin networking and concurrency powers.

But Python and Ruby are just a brew install away!

Yep. If you are working mostly on the same platform you can get very comfortable with your nice and cosy environment. If you switch platform borders on a regular basis, things become a bit more complicated. I want to place one .zip file on my server, containing all my vim-files, vopher-binaries and then I am ready to go (pun) in no time.

Will vopher handle all the dependencies for me?

Nope. There is no central repository for plugins which all of the plugin-writers agree on (in contrast, SublimeText3 has the defacto standard https://packagecontrol.io/installation ). Ontop of that something like a file-format for dependencies is lacking. Again, setting up the vopher.list file is something rare; I expect to change it from time to time. Dependencies for the plugins won't change that often either. So, a lot of effort and nothing substantial to gain from.


Copyright (c) Mathias Gumz. Distributed under the same terms as Vim itself. See :help license.