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editor/README.pod - Productivity Comes in Pretty Colors

Syntax Highlighting and Other Editor Assistance

Included in this directory are some add-ins for making working on parrot (or in parrot) easier, for various popular editors. Mostly that means syntax-highlighting and automatic indenting. Read on to see what's available for your favorite editor. For a summary on what is available do cd editor && make help


By default calling make vim-install in the editor/ directory will install several files in ~/.vim. You can use the variable VIM_DIR on the command line by calling make to choose a different target directory for the vim files.

   make vim-install [VIM_DIR=/vim_files_target_directory]

All these files have the .vim extension. pir.vim (generated from, and pmc.vim are syntax files; indent_pir.vim is an indent plugin; and filetype_parrot.vim is a filetype script that tells vim to associate the extensions .pir and .pmc with the right syntax. The syntax files are installed to ~/.vim/syntax/; filetype_parrot.vim is installed to ~/.vim/parrot.vim; indent_pir.vim is copied to ~/.vim/indent/pir.vim. If you want indenting, you should also place filetype indent on somewhere in your ~/.vimrc.


There is a syntax file for the KDE editor Kate, but it is not built by default. Run:

   make imc.kate

in editor/ to build it.

Copy the file imcc.xml to ~/.kde/share/apps/katepart/syntax.


  • Editing the Parrot VM source

    In this directory is a parrot.el describing the c-mode and cperl-mode changes modifications required to edit the Parrot source code. To install the Parrot mode support copy parrot.el to a directory where Emacs looks for external packages and add the following to your ~/.emacs file:

        (load "parrot")

    Alternatively, if you're an active Parrot developer, you may wish to add this to your .emacs instead, to automatically track future changes:

        (load-file "/<path-to-parrot>/editor/parrot.el")

TAGS file

There is a script here to automatically generate a TAGS file, which works with Vim and other editors that recognize ctags-format files. Run

  make tags-vi

for Vim-compatible tags or

  make tags-emacs

for Emacs-style tags. The tool "exuberant ctags" is required for both. There is also the

  make tags-xemacs

target which will work with older XEmacs etags (21.5*).

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