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Exuberant Ctags Patterns for JavaScript

The purpose of this project is to modernize and augment the many custom JavaScript Patterns for Exuberant Ctags that have been floating the web for years.

We want to make sure Exuberant Ctags doesn't miss a single named symbol in our whole code base and do so without unnecessary duplication:

This is done by disabling the default "kinds", creating new ones, and crafting as many patterns as necessary.

Reminders

Compatibility

These patterns are only usable with Exuberant Ctags. Universal Ctags is not currently supported and there's no plan to support it in the foreseeable future.

A note about disabling the default "kinds".

The option --javascript-kinds=-c-f-m-p-v in ctagsrc will disable the default kinds, c (classes), f (functions), m (methods), p (properties), and v (global variables), for JavaScript files.

This means your ctags program's builtin regex patterns or any user defined patterns registered against these kinds will no longer function and the patterns defined in ctagsrc will be the only patterns active for the JavaScript language.

This is done to have a single source of patterns and avoid duplicated tags.

Try

  1. Clone this repository:

     $ git clone https://github.com/romainl/ctags-patterns-for-javascript.git
    
  2. Build a tags file against the provided index.js:

     $ make tags
    

    or:

     $ ctags --options=NONE --options=./ctagsrc -f tags index.js
    

Use

  1. Clone this repository:

     $ git clone https://github.com/romainl/ctags-patterns-for-javascript.git
    
  2. In your shell, run the following command to tell Exuberant Ctags to use the options defined in the provided ctagsrc file:

     $ echo "--options=/absolute/path/to/ctags-patterns-for-javascript/ctagsrc" >> ~/.ctags
    

    with /absolute/path/to/ctags-patterns-for-javascript/ctagsrc being your actual path, of course.

  3. Use this command to generate a tags file at the root of your JavaScript project:

     $ ctags -R .
    

If for some reason the above instructions sound like Klingon to you, just copy the content of this file and paste it into your own ~/.ctags file. If that file doesn't exist, create it.

Tags

CODE                                                | TAG                 | KIND
----------------------------------------------------|---------------------|-----
// FIXME: fix non-working Patterns                  | FIXME               | T
// TODO: better ES6+ support                        | TODO                | T
// BUG: there's really something fishy about this   | BUG                 | T
// ???: what the flying fuck?                       | ???                 | T
// !!!: dear god!                                   | !!!                 | T
// HACK: deployment is in 15 minutes                | HACK                | T
// XXX: I. Must. Finish. That. Mess. Quickly.       | XXX                 | T

Array literals

CODE                                                | TAG                 | KIND
----------------------------------------------------|---------------------|-----
var|let|const array_name = [...                     | array_name          | A

Object literals

CODE                                                | TAG                 | KIND
----------------------------------------------------|---------------------|-----
var|let|const object_name = {...                    | object_name         | O

Object properties

CODE                                                | TAG                 | KIND
----------------------------------------------------|---------------------|-----
foo: 123,                                           | foo                 | P
foo: 123                                            | foo                 | P
bar: "eee",                                         | bar                 | P
bar: "eee"                                          | bar                 | P
baz: /regexp/,                                      | baz                 | P
baz: /regexp/                                       | baz                 | P
quux: []                                            | quux                | P
flax: {}                                            | flax                | P
var obj = { sluf: 1 };                              | sluf                | P
this.foo = {}                                       | foo                 | P

Generator functions

CODE                                                | TAG                 | KIND
----------------------------------------------------|---------------------|-----
function* generator_name() {...                     | generator_name      | G
function *generator_name() {...                     | generator_name      | G
function * generator_name() {...                    | generator_name      | G
function*generator_name() {...                      | generator_name      | G
const generator_name = function* () {...            | generator_name      | G
const generator_name = function * () {...           | generator_name      | G
* generator_name() {...                             | generator_name      | G

Free-form functions

CODE                                                | TAG                 | KIND
----------------------------------------------------|---------------------|-----
function func_name() {...                           | func_name           | F
(function func_name() {...                          | func_name           | F
var|let|const func_name = function() {...           | func_name           | F
var|let|const function_name = (arg) => ...          | func_name           | F
var|let|const function_name = arg => ...            | func_name           | F
var|let|const function_name = (\n...) => ...        | func_name           | F
async function function_name() {...                 | func_name           | F
(async function function_name() {...                | func_name           | F
var|let|const function_name = async function() {... | func_name           | F
var|let|const function_name = async () => {...      | func_name           | F
var|let|const function_name = async arg => {...     | func_name           | F

Constructors and classes

CODE                                                | TAG                 | KIND
----------------------------------------------------|---------------------|-----
class ClassName {...                                | ClassName           | C

Methods

CODE                                                | TAG                 | KIND
----------------------------------------------------|---------------------|-----
this.method_name = function() {...                  | method_name         | M
method_name : function() {...                       | method_name         | M
method_name: (param) => ...                         | method_name         | M
method_name: param => ...                           | method_name         | M
static method_name() {...                           | method_name         | M
method_name() {...                                  | method_name         | M
method_name = (param) => ...                        | method_name         | M
method_name = param => ...                          | method_name         | M

Variables

CODE                                                | TAG                 | KIND
----------------------------------------------------|---------------------|-----
var|let|const var_name = 1;                         | var_name            | V
var|let|const var_name = /regexp/;                  | var_name            | V
var|let|const var_name = 'foo';                     | var_name            | V
var|let|const var_name = "bar";                     | var_name            | V
var|let|const var_name = new ClassName();           | var_name            | V
var|let|const var_name;                             | var_name            | V
var|let|const ..., var_name;                        | var_name            | V
var|let|const ..., ..., var_name;                   | var_name            | V
var|let|const [ var1, var2, var3 ] = useState([]);  | var1, var2, var3    | V
var|let|const { var1, var2, var3 } = props;         | var1, var2, var3    | V
    var_name,                                       | var_name            | V
    var_name                                        | var_name            | V

Named imports

Tagging direct imports would be redundant so we only tag named imports.

CODE                                                | TAG                 | KIND
----------------------------------------------------|---------------------|-----
import { * as imp1 }                                | imp1                | I
import { foo as imp2 }                              | imp2                | I
import { imp3, * as imp4 }                          | imp4                | I
import { imp5, bar as imp6 }                        | imp6                | I
import { imp7, imp8, * as imp9 }                    | imp9                | I
import { imp10, imp11, baz as imp12 }               | imp12               | I
import { * as imp13, * as imp14, * as imp15 }       | imp13, imp14, imp15 | I
import { foo as imp16, bar as imp17, baz as imp18 } | imp16, imp17, imp18 | I
import * as imp19                                   | imp19               | I
import foo as imp20                                 | imp20               | I
import imp21, * as imp22                            | imp22               | I
import imp23, bar as imp24                          | imp24               | I
import imp25, imp26, * as imp27                     | imp27               | I
import imp28, imp29, baz as imp30                   | imp30               | I
import * as imp31, * as imp32, * as imp33           | imp31, imp32, imp33 | I
import foo as imp34, bar as imp35, baz as imp36     | imp34, imp35, imp36 | I
foo as imp37                                        | imp37               | I

Flow imports

Same story as imports, tagging direct imports would be redundant so we only tag named imports.

CODE                                                | TAG                 | KIND
----------------------------------------------------|---------------------|-----
import type {foo as impFlow01} from ...             | impFlow01           | I
import type * as impFlow02 from ...                 | impFlow02           | I
import typeof {foo as impFlow03} from ...           | impFlow03           | I
import typeof * as impFlow04 from ...               | impFlow04           | I

Named exports

Same story as imports, tagging direct exports would be redundant so we only tag named exports.

CODE                                                | TAG                 | KIND
----------------------------------------------------|---------------------|-----
export { var1 as exp04, var2 as exp05 };            | exp04, exp05        | E
export let exp06, exp07;                            | exp06, exp07        | E
export var exp08, exp09, exp09b;                    | exp08, exp09        | E
export let exp10 = 1, exp11 = 2;                    | exp10, exp11        | E
export const exp12 = 1, exp13 = 2;                  | exp12, exp13        | E
export var exp14 = 1, exp15 = 2;                    | exp14, exp15        | E
export function exp16() {}                          | exp16               | E
export default { var1 as exp20, var2 as exp21};     | exp20; exp21        | E
export default let exp22, exp23;                    | exp22, exp23        | E
export default var exp24, exp25;                    | exp24, exp25        | E
export default let exp26 = 1, exp27 = 2;            | exp26, exp27        | E
export default const exp28 = 1, exp29 = 2;          | exp28, exp29        | E
export default var exp30 = 1, exp31 = 2;            | exp30, exp31        | E
export default function exp32() {}                  | exp32               | E

Styled components

"Visual primitives for the component age.", as they say on the site, are not exactly native types but they are certainly named and very likely to be reused so they deserve a spot, here.

CODE                                                | TAG                 | KIND
----------------------------------------------------|---------------------|-----
var|let|const Component = styled...                 | Component           | S
var|let|const Component = createGlobalStyle...      | Component           | S

Hack

Regular expressions dialect

Because Exuberant Ctags takes no responsibility about the regular expression engine it uses under the hood, we must use the dumbest dialect, BRE, for portability. This has a number of consequences:

  • no alternation,
  • no lookbehind,
  • no backreference,
  • a verbose and frustrating syntax.

But we are hackers, so we see challenges where others see obstacles, right?

Watch and re-index

The bundled Makefile has a very simple and very cheap watch phony target that will run make tags every second. In turn, the tags target will run ctags --options=./ctagsrc -f tags index.js only if ctagsrc or index.js have changed since last run.

This allows us to start the watcher in a terminal:

$ make watch

open ctagsrc, index.js, and the tags file in Vim in another terminal:

$ vim -O tags ctagsrc index.js +'set autoread' +'autocmd! CursorHold,CursorHoldI * checktime'

and watch our tags file change as we edit existing patterns in ctagsrc or add expressions in index.js.

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