Vim: Creating .clang_complete using CMake

The clang_complete plugin for Vim, offers superior code completion. If your project is anything but trivial, it will only do so if you provide .clang_compelete file with the right compilation argument. The easy way to do so is by using the script that comes with it to record the options directly into the .clang_compelete file. Usually one does

make CXX='~/.vim/bin/ clang++'

However, the makefile generated by CMake doesn’t support the CXX configuration.

The solution is to call CMake with the CXX environment variable set:

CXX="$HOME/.vim/bin/ clang++" cmake ..

Note that this will create the clang_complete file in the build directory (I’ve assumed out-of-place build), so just copy over the file to the working dir of your vim so it can find it. You’ll need to re-run cmake again (without the CXX, to disable re-creating the .clang_complete file each time.

While looking for this solution, I’ve first tried solving it by setting the CMAKE_CXX_COMPILER variable in CMake, however for some strange reason it didn’t like it, saying that the compiler wasn’t found (it shuns command line arguments given in the compiler command).

The more I use clang_compelete the more awesome I find it. It has it quirks but nonetheless it’s much simpler and better than manually creating tag files for each library.

Updated 6/1/2014: When setting CXX use $HOME instead of ~ (fix issues with newer versions of CMake).

Bye Bye OmniCppComplete, Hello Clang Complete

For years OmniCppComplete has been the de facto standard for C++ completion in Vim. But as time progressed, I got more and more annoyed by it’s shortcomings. OmniCppComplete is based on tokenizing provided by ctags. The ctags parsing of C++ code is problematic, you can’t even run it on libstdc++ headers (you need to download modified headers). You want to use an external library? You’ll need to run ctags seperatly on each library. Not to mention it’s inablity to deduce types of anything more than trivial. The core of the problem is that OmniCppComplete isn’t a compiler and you can’t expect something that isn’t a compiler to fully understand code. This what makes Visual Studio’s IntelliSense so great: it uses the Visual C++ compiler for parsing, it isn’t making wild guess at types and what is the current scope – it knows it.
Continue reading Bye Bye OmniCppComplete, Hello Clang Complete