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cmdalias.vim : Create aliases for Vim commands.

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created by
Hari Krishna Dara
script type
Sometimes we want to to change the behavior of a built-in command so end up creating a custom command, and we wish to reuse the built-in command name for it. E.g., :Runtime to replace :runtime, :Find to replace :find. I myself wanted to replace :qa with :QA (see http://vim.wikia.com/wiki/Tabclose_instead_of_quit-all), but it is hard to remember to type :QA instead of :qa everytime, that is why I created this plugin.

This plugin is just a wrapper on top of command-line abbreviations (:cabbr), to work around the big disadvantages of :cabbr. With plain :cabbr, the expansion happens anywhere the abbreviation appears while typing command-line. E.g., if you create abbreviation from runtime->Runtime, then the following will not work as you expect:

:cnoreabbr runtime Runtime

What would actually execute is:


Which is not the same. The other problem is cabbr's trigger not only at the command-line, but also at search prompt, at the input prompt and any other prompts (see :help getcmdtype()). To avoid those unexpected expansions, cmdalias utilizes a light-weight wrapper function that expands the abbreviation only when it is typed as the first word of the ex command (":" prompt). So, instead of the below:

:cnoreabbr runtime Runtime

You would use this:

:call CmdAlias('runtime', 'Runtime')

or simply,

:Alias runtime Runtime

These aliases pretty much work like the bash aliases. If you don't want the expansion to temporarily happen even at the beginning of a command, you have two options:
- After entering the command and before typing the next command press <C-V> (e.g., <C-V><Space>)
- Start the command-line with a space and then enter the command.

The CmdAlias() function takes a 3rd optional argument called "flags" for which you can pass options such as "<buffer>" to make the alias local to the current buffer.

Here is the description from file header for more details:
    :call CmdAlias('<lhs>', '<rhs>', [flags])
    :Alias <lhs> <rhs> [flags]
    :UnAlias <lhs> ...
    :Aliases [<lhs> ...]
    :Alias runtime Runtime
    :Alias find Find
    :UnAlias find
  - Vim doesn't allow us to create user-defined commands unless they start
    with an uppercase letter. I find this annoying and constrained when it
    comes to overriding built-in commands with my own. To override built-in
    commands, we often have to create a new command that has the same name
    as the built-in but starting with an uppercase letter (e.g., "Cd"
    instead of "cd"), and remember to use that everytime (besides the
    fact that typing uppercase letters take more effort). An alternative is
    to use the :cabbr to create an abbreviation for the built-in command
    (:cmap is not good) to the user-defined command (e.g., "cabbr cd Cd").
    But this would generally cause more inconvenience because the
    abbreviation gets expanded no matter where in the command-line you use
    it. This is where the plugin comes to your rescue by arranging the cabbr
    to expand only if typed as the first word in the command-line, in a
    sense working like the aliases in csh or bash.
  - The plugin provides a function to define command-line abbreviations such
    a way that they are expanded only if they are typed as the first word of
    a command (at ":" prompt). The same rules that apply to creating a
    :cabbr apply to the second argument of CmdAlias() function too. You can
    pass in optional flags (such as <buffer>) to the :cabbr command through
    the third argument.
  - The :cabbr's created this way, work like the bash aliases, except that
    in this case, the alias is substituted in-place followed by the rules
    mentioned in the |abbreviations|, and no arguments can be defined.
  - If the <rhs> is not of the same size as <lhs>, the in-place expansion
    feels odd.
  - Since the expansion is in-place, Vim command-line history saves the
    <rhs>, not the <lhs>. This means, you can't retrieve a command from
    history by partially typing the <lhs> (you have to instead type the
    <rhs> for this purpose).

Search_key_words: cmdalias Hari Krishna Dara cmap alias cmdalias.vim
install details
Source it from your vimrc or just drop it in your plugin directory.

For versions prior to 2.0:
Requires curcmdmode.vim(1.0) (vimscript #745).

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package script version date Vim version user release notes
cmdalias.vim 3.0 2009-09-10 7.0 Hari Krishna Dara Improvements due to renewed interest in the plugin.
- Added Alias command that is easier to use than calling CmdAlias()
- Added UnAlias and Aliases commands to give a more authentic "alias"
  like feel to the plugin.
- Detect aliases after certain configurable commands. The default
  commands are: verbose, debug, silent, redir.
- Better usage error detection.
cmdalias.vim 2.0 2006-05-08 7.0 Hari Krishna Dara Release 2.0 for Vim 7.0. Essentially have rewritten the plugin for Vim
7.0. Now the plugin is very simple safe and reliable and doesn't even
depend on any other plugins (thanks to the new getcmdtype() function).
Also added support for passing additional flags to the CmdAlias()
cmdalias.vim 1.0 2003-08-25 6.0 Hari Krishna Dara Initial upload
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