UltiSnip: Snippets for VIM

A couple of days ago I stumbled upon UltiSnip, a TextMate-like snippet system for VIM, via Alexey Bezhan’s post Why UltiSnip?. For quite some time now, I’ve been using snipMate which does essentially the same but seems to have been abandonned by its original maintainer. There is a fork maintained by Rok Garbas but, I guess, I was ready to try something new that day and so I removed snipMate from my vim config and installed UltiSnip instead.

So far, this works out pretty nicely for me. One of the issues I had with snipMate was how reloading snipppets was done, which, in its original implementation, wasn’t. With UltiSnip you basically edit a snippets-file and your changes work right away. I also prefer the different syntax for creating snippets which doesn’t rely on indentation but has an explicit closing tag.

snippet msg "Shortcut for spring:message" i
<spring:message code="${1}" />${0}

You can also define a handful of options with each snippet which, for instance, restricts the snippet to only work at the beginning of a line or doesn’t require the trigger to be surrounded by whitespaces.

Another really nice feature is that you can have one snippet library extend another one. For instance, you probably want to use all your HTML snippets within a JSP file. So all you have to do is add following line to your jsp.snippets file:

extends html

Right now I’ve only scratched the surface here and I’m still trying to find the time to read through the documentation as a whole, but so far I really like UltiSnip :-) If I have enough custom snippets I will probably also create a little repository for them and put them online.

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