Smarter tag search in Vim

published on November 01, 2017.

As part of my Vim setup for PHP development, I use the vim-php-namespace plugin to add use statements in my PHP code.

vim-php-namespace uses the tags file to find the class and the namespace it belongs to, and then adds it to the rest of the use statements.

It all works great, but there are times when it shows too much possibilities.

For example, when I want to import the namespace for the Transaction class, it finds the correct Transaction class, but it also finds functions called transaction in my codebase, and then gives me a choice what I want to import:

See? One class (kind c), and two functions (kind f).

I could exclude functions from being generated in tag files, but that’s not really an option because there are times when I need the functions tags.

I dove into the vim-php-namespace source code, determined to get rid of this “functionality”.

Turns out the plugin actually uses a Vim command, called ptjump, to search the tags file and show the preview window, so the user can pick out the correct tag in case there’s more than one.

Of course there’s an option for that

Then I started reading the help pages for tags in more detail, and after a while I found the answer: tagcase.

To quote the help file:

This option specifies how case is handled when searching the tags file.

And it has the following options:

  • followic Follow the ‘ignorecase’ option
  • followscs Follow the ‘smartcase’ and ‘ignorecase’ options
  • ignore Ignore case
  • match Match case
  • smart Ignore case unless an upper case letter is used

I’ve set it to smart and, well, now it does what I want it to do:

set tagcase=smart

It correctly finds only one match for the Transaction class and the plugin inserts the use statement for it. Yey!

Happy hackin’!

Tags: namespace, php, plugin, tags, vim.
Categories: Development, Software.

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Robert Basic

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