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tpm/HOW_TO_PLUGIN.md

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# How to create Tmux plugins
Creating a new plugin is easy.
For demonstration purposes we'll create a simple plugin that lists all
installed TPM plugins. Yes, a plugin that lists plugins :) We'll bind that to
`prefix + T`.
### 1. create a new git project
TPM depends on git for downloading and updating plugins.
To create a new git project:
$ mkdir tmux_my_plugin
$ cd tmux_my_plugin
$ git init
### 2. create a `*.tmux` plugin run file
When it sources a plugin, TPM executes all `*.tmux` files in your plugins'
directory. That's how plugins are run.
Create a plugin run file in plugin directory:
$ touch my_plugin.tmux
$ chmod +x my_plugin.tmux
You can have more than one `*.tmux` file, and all will get executed. Usually
however, you'll need just one.
### 3. create a plugin key binding
We want the behavior of the plugin to trigger when a user hits `prefix + T`.
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Key `T` is chosen because:
- it's "kind of" a mnemonic for `TPM`
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- the key is not used by Tmux natively. Tmux man page, KEY BINDINGS section
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contains a list of all the bindings Tmux uses. We don't want to override any
Tmux default binding, and there's plenty of unused keys.
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Open the plugin run file in your favorite text editor:
$ vim my_plugin.tmux
# or
$ subl my_plugin.tmux
Put the following content in the file:
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#!/usr/bin/env bash
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CURRENT_DIR="$( cd "$( dirname "${BASH_SOURCE[0]}" )" && pwd )"
tmux bind-key T run-shell "$CURRENT_DIR/scripts/tmux_list_plugins.sh"
As you can see, plugin run file is a simple bash script that sets up binding.
When pressed, `prefix + T` will now execute another shell script:
`tmux_list_plugins.sh`. That script should be in `scripts/` directory -
relative to the plugin run file.
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### 4. listing plugins
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Now that we have the binding, let's create a script that's invoked on
`prefix + T`.
$ mkdir scripts
$ touch scripts/tmux_list_plugins.sh
$ chmod +x scripts/tmux_list_plugins.sh
And here's the script content:
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#!/usr/bin/env bash
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# fetching the value of "tpm_plugins" option
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plugins_list=$(tmux show-option -gqv "@tpm_plugins")
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# displaying variable content, line by line
for plugin in $plugins_list; do
echo $plugin
done
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### 5. try it out
To try if this works, execute the plugin run file:
$ ./my_plugin.tmux
That should set up the key binding. Now hit `prefix + T` and see if it works.
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If you get stuck you can download and check this tutorial
[plugin here](https://github.com/tmux-plugins/tmux-example-plugin).
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### 6. publish the plugin
When everything works, push the plugin to an online git repository, preferably
Github.
Other users can install your plugin by just adding plugin git URL to the
`@tpm_plugins` list in their `.tmux.conf`.
If the plugin is on Github, your users will be able to use the shorthand of
`github_username/repository`.
### Conclusion
Hopefully, that was easy. As you can see, it's mostly shell scripting.
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You can also check source code of other plugins from the
[List of plugins](PLUGINS.md).
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You can use other scripting languages (ruby, phyton etc), but plain old shell
is preferred because it will work almost anywhere.