Live in-place Ruby execution

Today I was able to get Vim to execute Ruby files without ever having to leave Vim, and putting the results of execution in place next to the code that was executed. Here’s a quick demo on Youtube.

There’s three parts to this:

The rcodetools gem, which includes the CLI tool xmpfilter, which does the work.
The xmpfilter vim plugin which hooks up Vim to xmpfilter.
The relevant mappings in your vimrc to get it all working.
Installing the gem is simple:

gem install rcodetools

You then need to install the xmpfilter vim plugin. I recommend going down the Pathogen route for installing plugins, but do it whichever way you prefer.

There’s two parts to marking a line for execution. The first is to comment it with the # => syntax, which is what xmpfilter looks for. The second is then a command to run xmpfilter over the current file.

Here are the mappings I’ve gone for:

nmap <buffer> <F4> <Plug>(xmpfilter-run)
xmap <buffer> <F4> <Plug>(xmpfilter-run)
imap <buffer> <F4> <Plug>(xmpfilter-run)
nmap <buffer> <F3> <Plug>(xmpfilter-mark)
xmap <buffer> <F3> <Plug>(xmpfilter-mark)
imap <buffer> <F3> <Plug>(xmpfilter-mark)

Now I can hit F3 to mark a line to execute and then F4 to execute it.

Note: if you use rbenv to manage your Ruby versions like I do, you’ll need Tim Pope’s rbenv.vim plugin which tells Vim where your Ruby is located. Without this plugin I couldn’t get xmpfilter to work, presumably due to not being able to locate the rbenv installed version of Ruby. Adding that plugin did the trick.

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