I’m a big fan of having a consistent style in my code. It greatly increases the readability of the code, thereby reducing mental compilation time. By reducing mental compilation time we are actually increasing developer efficiency.
Maintaining a consistent style without the help of a syntax-checker/style-linter can be tedious, and draws your focus away from the code. You begin to think about things like: “What is the proper style for this? Will this actually compile?” You may end up Googling for an answer or attempt to run your code manually. Both of these I consider to be unneccesary context switches, as they disturb your focus on the actual code.
Syntastic will automatically check your code as you are writing it. It is a feature found in most IDEs, but does not come with Vanilla VIM. Sadly, I see many new VIMmers who are unaware this even exists!
- Toss this in your ~/.vimrc:
```vim “ Install the plugin (if you are using Vundle) Plugin ‘scrooloose/syntastic’
” Mark syntax errors with :signs let g:syntastic_enable_signs=1
” Do not automatically jump to the error when saving the file “ Jump feature is annoying to me as it automatically moves the cursor let g:syntastic_auto_jump=0
” Show the error list automatically “ Allows you to easily navigate the quick fix list let g:syntastic_auto_loc_list=1
- Now, in order to use some of these style checkers, you need to install the packages to make them work. Given my ~/.vimrc, I would run this command:
$ gem install rubocop
$ pip install pylint pep8
$ npm install -g jshint
$ brew install scalastyle
You are ready to go. I will leave it as an exercise to the reader to configure their style linters to enforce the style they prefer. I have a few set already in my Dotfiles if you are interested.