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created 2002 · complexity basic · author Brian K · version 6.0

I run gvim inside a cygwin XFree86 session running WindowMaker. Because I'm inside cygwin-XFree86, I can't use the useful VisVim plugin to step through Visual Studio compiler errors. To work around this limitation, I wrote a Bash/Perl script that munges nmake output into something that has cygwin compliant path, and is parseable by the default quickfix errorformat setting.

Here's what to do:

1. Install the following from cygwin:

  • perl
  • cygutils
  • bash

2. Set up Visual Studio to support command line compiles. Basically this involves adding paths to the PATH, INCLUDE, and LIB environment variables. See vcvars32.bat in the Visual Studio VC98/bin directory for guidelines.

3. Export a makefile for your dsp project file via the Visual Studio "Project - Export Makefile..."

4. Create the cygwin shell script defined below. Put the script in '/bin/dovcmake'

# This script takes output from
# Visual Studio's nmake and reformats
# it so that it can be parsed by
# cygwin's vim default errorformat
# setting
nmake /F $1 2>&1 | perl -n -e \
  ' chomp;
    if(/^([a-z]:[^(]+)\((\d+)\)(.+)$/i) {
      $f = $1; $l = $2; $m = $3;
      $f =~ s/\\/\//g;
      $cyp = `cygpath -au $f`; \
      chomp $cyp;
      print qq{"$cyp",$l:$m\n};}
    elsif(/error/i) {
      print qq{$_\n};

5. Add this map to your vimrc:

set makeprg=/bin/dovcmake
map <F7> :make <C-R>%<CR>

6. Fire up cygwin vim and open the makefile from step 3. If you hit F7, you'll automatically start a Visual Studio build and you'll be able to step through compiler errors via the :cp and :cn commands.


You should look at the errorformat option (:help errorformat). This may solve your problem without Perl.

I needed to use Perl because I needed to convert windows paths from nmake's output to cygwin paths. Otherwise I would have used errorformat

You could use Cygwin's cygpath to translate between Cygwin (posix) and windows paths instead of Perl.

I am using cygpath within the Perl script to translate the paths, but the Perl script does more that just translate paths. It also filters extraneous nmake output , such as the MS copyright info that nmake generates.

Instead of using cygpath, you may want to look at whether will help you. It handles a lot of the tricky path conversion issues between cygwin and Windows.