Saving files in nonexistent directories with vim

Quite often you may find yourself editing a file in a nonexistent directory.

If you’re a Rails developer, you may have used:

:Rview show.html.erb

This creates the show page for the current controller you’re working on, however the app/views/controller directory may not exist yet, and Vim will not let you save a file in a nonexistent directory. So this what you do:

:!mkdir %:p:h

:h expand to the see the meaning of the modifiers used if you’re interested.

An aside, this is what I previously used:

augroup vimrc-auto-mkdir
  autocmd BufWritePre * call s:auto_mkdir(expand('<afile>:p:h'), v:cmdbang)
  function! s:auto_mkdir(dir, force)
    if !isdirectory(a:dir)
          \   && (a:force
          \       || input("'" . a:dir . "' does not exist. Create? [y/N]") =~? '^y\%[es]$')
      call mkdir(iconv(a:dir, &encoding, &termencoding), 'p')
augroup END

This has the benefit of prompting of me when I try to save a file in non-existent directory. However, I feel like the less configuration I have to rely on the better, and also, :!mkdir %:p:% feels, and looks much more badass.

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Written: November 28th, 2011
Categories: vim, automation