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Edit files, and strings in temporary vim (or some other console editor) buffers.

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Edit files and strings in temporary vim (or some other console editor) buffers.



  • python3.6+
pip3 install vimbuffer


There's just the one function, buffer:

vimbuffer.buffer(string: Union[str, NoneType] = None,
                 file: Union[str, NoneType] = None,
                 editor: Union[str, NoneType] = None,
                 fallbacks: Union[List[str], NoneType] = None,
                 name_prefix: Union[str, NoneType] = None) -> str
    Provide one of:
        string: A string to edit in a vimbuffer
        file: A file to edit in a vimbuffer
    If neither is provided, uses an empty string
    editor: editor to override the passed fallbacks/environment variable
    fallbacks: A list of fallbacks for alternate editors (e.g. ['vim', 'vi', 'nano'])
    name_prefix: string prefix for the filename when opening in an editor

    If string is provided, opens the file in an editor, lets the user edit it,
    and returns the string.
    If a file is, it reads the file, lets the user modify the contents, and writes
    back to the file. It also returns the edited file contents.

The editor can be overwritten by specifying environment variables, see below for resolution order.

import vimbuffer

# edit a string
prompt_string = "Edit this and put what you want here!"
edited_text = vimbuffer.buffer(string=prompt_string)  # opens vim

# edit a file
vimbuffer.buffer(file=os.path.expanduser("~/.bashrc"), name_prefix="bashrc-")

This uses tempfile to create temporary files on the system, and launches vim against them. If the environment variable $EDITOR is set to a graphical text editor, the process (which in this case would just launch the graphical editor) would end before the user had a chance to edit it. I recommend using terminal text editors instead.

You can specify a list of fallback editors; one you'd like to use instead of $EDITOR:

## <my-project>

By <your-name>

edited_desc = vimbuffer.buffer(project_description, fallbacks=["nvim", "vim", "vi", "nano"])

Alternatively, if you want to leave your $EDITOR as a graphical text editor, you can set the $VIMBUFFER_EDITOR environment variable, which trumps all other choices. Specifically, the resolution order is:

  • editor
  • fallbacks(s) passed as keyword arguments in python
  • vim
  • vi

The name_prefix exists as a kwarg since temporary files have names that are randomly generated. By passing a prefix, the name becomes something like /tmp/bashrc-sd43Jds, so it may give a hint as to which file/what you're editing



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