Custom Postfix Templates for Intellij IDEA
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README.md

Custom Postfix Templates for Intellij IDEA

Custom Postfix Templates is an Intellij IDEA plugin that allows you to define your own custom postfix templates. At the moment it supports the following programming languages with : Java, Scala, SQL, PHP, Groovy, Kotlin (untyped templates), Python (untyped templates), Dart (untyped templates), JavaScript (untyped templates), and Rust (untyped templates).

So what is the difference to IDEA's postfix templates?

Since IDEA 2018 you are now able to define your own postfix templates in the settings UI (Editor → General → Postfix Templates). However, this is a pretty new feature and it's less functional than this plugin. Here are some of the advantages of this plugin:

  • You can define different template rules for the same template name, e.g. .toList should behave differently for arrays and for sets.
  • You can use template variables (e.g. $varName$) which are filled by the user while applying the template.
  • You can use live template macros to automatically fill some of the template variables (e.g. $var:suggestVariableName()$) as well as you can define default values.
  • You can restrict the availability of templates or template rules to the availability of certain classes or libraries (e.g. expand "test".val to val s = "test" if Lombok is available).
  • It allows you to use static imports instead of class imports (e.g. array.toList can be expanded to asList(array) instead of Arrays.asList(array) if you add [USE_STATIC_IMPORTS] to the rule).
  • It comes with 208 useful and editable postfix templates for Java with in total 379 template rules, e.g.
    • string.toIntInteger.parse(string)
    • array.toListArrays.asList(array)
    • file.linesFiles.readAllLines(file.toPath(), Charset.forName("UTF-8"))
    • file.getName().valfinal String name = file.getName();
  • The text based format for defining your templates allows you to easily share them via copy and paste.

Screencast

Screen Cast

Download

You can download the plugin Custom Postfix Templates via Settings → Plugins → Browse Repositories.

Usage

The plugin comes with a predefined set of templates for Java and Scala (see below) which can be immediatly applied in Java/Scala files. For instance, write

"1".toInt

in a Java file. If the completion popup does not automatically show up, press Ctrl+SPACE. Select the .toInt template and see how it is expanded.

And if you want to see the template definition, just press Alt+ENTER in the completiion popup and select Edit '.toInt' template.

Kinds of template files

There are three different types of template files:

  • User template files: use them to define your own templates and/or override local or web template rules
  • Local template files: loaded from the local file system, read-only, and updated automatically when an IDEA project is opened
  • Web template files: loaded from the web, read-only, and updated automatically once a day

Order of template files/rules

Template rules are applied in a first-come-first-serve manner, i.e., more specific rules/files should be placed above more general rules/files. Reorder files in the tree by selecting them and by using the up/down buttons.

Predefined web templates files

The plugin comes with a set of so-called "web template files" which provide in total more than 200 useful templates. While web template files are read-only and shall not be edited by the user because of automatic updates, you can still edit or deactivate templates of these files.

To change or deactivate a predefined template you just have to start the template name completion with Ctrl+Space and then press ALT+Enter and select the third item (Edit .TEMPLATE_NAME template). The corresponding web template file is opened and you see the definition of the template rule. Since you cannot this template file directly you have to override the template rule by pressing Alt+Enter and selecting Override template rule. This overriding works in a way that your template rule needs to be loaded before the predefined template gets loaded. This is done by adding your rule to a user template file which is placed above the predefined web template file in the plugin settings. In case that you don't have a user template file which is loaded before, you are offered to create one. After you selected an existing user template or created a new one the template rule to override is automatically added to this file and you can start adapting it. To deactivate a template rule, replace the rigth side of the rule with [SKIP].

Edit the templates

Press Shift+Alt+P (or go to menu Tools → Custom Postfix Templates → Edit Templates of Current Language) to open the custom postfix templates for the programming language in your current editor. Here you can easily change, remove, or add new templates matching your needs. Note that you have to save the template file explicitly (via Ctrl+S) in order to update the postfix templates in the IDE.

Template definitions

The file may contain multiple template definitions of the form:

.TEMPLATE_NAME : TEMPLATE_DESCRIPTION
    TEMPLATE_RULE1
    TEMPLATE_RULE2
    ...

Each template definition consists of a template name, a template description and an arbitrary number of template rules. The template name is used as key in the code completion and the template description is shown as hint in the code completion popup. The template rules define on which types the template can be applied and how the application is performed.

Simple template rules

A simple template rule has the form

    MATCHING_TYPE  →  TEMPLATE_CODE

whereas

  • MATCHING_TYPE defines the type the template can be applied to, and
  • TEMPLATE_CODE defines how the template is applied (how the expression is replaced).

The options for MATCHING_TYPE may differ from programming language to programming language:

  • In Java the MATCHING_TYPE can be either a Java class name or one of the following special types:
    • ANY - any expression
    • VOID - any void expression
    • NON_VOID - any non-void expression
    • ARRAY - any Java array
    • BOOLEAN - boxed or unboxed boolean expressions
    • ITERABLE_OR_ARRAY - any iterable or array
    • NOT_PRIMITIVE - any non-primitive value
    • NUMBER - any boxed or unboxed number
    • BYTE - a boxed or unboxed byte value
    • SHORT - a boxed or unboxed short value
    • CHAR - a boxed or unboxed char value
    • INT - a boxed or unboxed int value
    • LONG - a boxed or unboxed long value
    • FLOAT - a boxed or unboxed float value
    • DOUBLE - a boxed or unboxed double value
    • NUMBER_LITERAL - any number literal
    • BYTE_LITERAL - a byte literal
    • SHORT_LITERAL - a short literal
    • CHAR_LITERAL - a char literal
    • INT_LITERAL - an int literal
    • LONG_LITERAL - a long literal
    • FLOAT_LITERAL - a float literal
    • DOUBLE_LITERAL - a double literal
    • STRING_LITERAL - a String literal
    • CLASS - any class reference
  • In Scala the MATCHING_TYPE can be either a Java class name or one of the following special types:
    • ANY - any expression
    • VOID - any void (Unit) expression
    • NON_VOID - any non-void (non-Unit) expression
    • BOOLEAN - scala.Boolean or java.lang.Boolean
    • NUMBER - any Scala or Java number value
    • BYTE - scala.Byte or java.lang.Byte
    • SHORT - scala.Short or java.lang.Short
    • CHAR - scala.Char or java.lang.Char
    • INT - scala.Int or java.lang.Integer
    • LONG - scala.Long or java.lang.Long
    • FLOAT - scala.Float or java.lang.Float
    • DOUBLE - scala.Double or java.lang.Double
  • In SQL the MATCHING_TYPE can be either a Java class name or one of the following special types:
    • ANY - any expression
    • UNKNOWN - unknown expression
    • DEFAULT - ?
    • INTEGER - integer expression
    • REAL - real expression
    • STRING - string expression
    • BOOLEAN - boolean expression
    • DATE_TIME - date-time expression
    • DATE - date expression
    • TIME - time expression
    • TIMESTAMP - timestamp expression
    • INTERVAL - interval expression
    • BYTES - bytes expression
    • REFERENCE - ?
    • ARRAY - array expression
    • COLLECTION - collection expression
    • TABLE - table reference
    • RECORD - ?
    • SETO - ?
  • In PHP the MATCHING_TYPE can be either a PHP class name or one of the following special types:
    • ANY - any expression
    • empty
    • mixed
    • null
    • string
    • boolean
    • int
    • float
    • object
    • callable
    • resource
    • array
    • iterable
    • number
    • void
    • unset
    • static
    • \Closure
    • \Exception
    • \Throwable
  • In Groovy the MATCHING_TYPE can be either a Java/Groovy class name or one of the following special types:
    • ANY - any expression
    • ARRAY - any Java array
    • BOOLEAN - boxed or unboxed boolean expressions
    • ITERABLE_OR_ARRAY - any iterable or array
    • NUMBER - any boxed or unboxed number
    • BYTE - a boxed or unboxed byte value
    • SHORT - a boxed or unboxed short value
    • CHAR - a boxed or unboxed char value
    • INT - a boxed or unboxed int value
    • LONG - a boxed or unboxed long value
    • FLOAT - a boxed or unboxed float value
    • DOUBLE - a boxed or unboxed double value
    • CLASS - any class reference
  • In Kotlin the MATCHING_TYPE has to be ANY.
  • In Python the MATCHING_TYPE has to be ANY.
  • In Dart the MATCHING_TYPE has to be ANY.
  • In JavaScript the MATCHING_TYPE has to be ANY.
  • In Rust the MATCHING_TYPE has to be ANY.

The TEMPLATE_CODE can be any text which may also contain template variables used as placeholder.

  • Simple template variables have the format $NAME$.
  • The following template variables have a special meaning:
    • $expr$ - the expression the template shall be applied to
    • $END$ - the final cursor position after the template application
  • All other variables will be replaced interactively during the template expansion.
  • If you want to change the order of variables, set default values or use live template macros for filling the variables automatically, you can use the following variable format:
    $NAME#NO:EXPRESSION:DEFAULT_VALUE$
    
    • NAME - name of the variable; use a * at the end of the name to skip user interaction
    • NO (optional) - number of the variable (defining in which order the variables are expanded)
    • EXPRESSION (optional) - a live template macro used to generate a replacement (e.g. suggestVariableName())
    • DEFAULT_VALUE (optional) - a default value that may be used by the macro

Template examples:

  • Artificial example showing variable reordering, variable reusage, interaction skipping, macros, and default values:
    .test : test
        NON_VOID → "$user*#1:user()$: $second#3:className()$ + $first#2::"1st"$ + $first$" + $expr$
    
  • Real world example: Write a variable to the debug log, including the developer name, the class name, and method name:
    .logd : log a variable
        NON_VOID → Log.d("$user*:user():"MyTag"$", "$className*:className()$ :: $methodName*:methodName()$): $expr$="+$expr$);
    

While writing the templates you can use the code completion for completing class names, variable names, template macros and arrows (→).

Advanced template rules

In the chapter above some options have been omitted for simplicity. If you need more functionality here is the full format of template rules including two optional parameters:

    MATCHING_TYPE [REQUIRED_CLASS]  →  TEMPLATE_CODE [FLAG]
  • REQUIRED_CLASS (optional) is a name of a class that needs to be available in the module to activate the template rule (see next section for a detailed explaination)
  • FLAG (optional) can be one of the following flags:

Writing library specific template rules via REQUIRED_CLASS

Sometimes you may want to write library specific template rules, i.e. rules that shall be only applied when a certain library is included in the project. For instance, take a look at the .val template provided with this plugin:

.val : extract as value
	NON_VOID [lombok.val]    →  val $var:suggestVariableName()$ = $expr$;
	NON_VOID                 →  final $type*:expressionType(expr))$ $var:suggestVariableName()$ = $expr$;

It can be applied to any non-void expression and expands either to

val myVar = myExpression;

if lombok is available, or to

final MyType myVar = myExpression;

if you're using Java without lombok.

In this exmaple template the [lombok.val] part after the matching type is used to restrict the rule appliction to those cases where the class lombok.val is available in the class path.

In general you can use any class name between the square brackets you want to define a restriction on.

FLAGs

USE_STATIC_IMPORTS

If you tag a template rule with [USE_STATIC_IMPORTS] all static methods that are used will be automatically imported and your code gets more compact. For instance, lets take the following template rule:

.toList : convert to List
	ARRAY  →  java.util.Arrays.asList($expr$) [USE_STATIC_IMPORTS]

Since the rule is tagged with [USE_STATIC_IMPORTS] expanding of array.toList does not lead to Arrays.asList(array) but to asList(array) and the following line is added to your import statements:

import static java.util.Arrays.asList;
SKIP

You can use the [SKIP] flag for deactivating the template rule for a given matching type.

Example:

.sort : sort naturally
	de.endrullis.lazyseq.LazySeq  →  [SKIP]
	java.util.List                →  java.util.Collections.sort($expr$)

In this example a postfix template .sort is defined. The first rule tells the plugin that there shall be no completition for expressions of type LazySeq. The second rule defines how List expressions shall be completed.

Update templates and open plugin settings

Go to Settings → Editor → Custom Postfix Templates or Tools → Custom Postfix Templates → Open Settings / Upgrade Templates. There you can chose between two different lambda styles and check/uncheck the template files you want to enable/disable.

Contribute

Any contributions are welcome. Just fork the project, make your changes and create a pull request.

Here are some guides:

See also