Skip to main content

🌀 Bin Gem Node

z-shell/z-a-bin-gem-node

An annex provides the following functionality:

  1. Run programs and scripts without adding anything to $PATH,
  2. Install: Ruby Gems, Node, and Python modules, with automatically set:
  3. Run programs, scripts, and functions with automatic cd into the plugin or snippet directory, plus also with automatic standard output & standard error redirecting.
  4. Source scripts through an automatically created function with the above $GEM_HOME, $NODE_PATH, $VIRTUALENV, and cd features available,
  5. Create the so-called shims known from rbenv – the same feature as the first item of this enumeration – of running a program without adding anything to $PATH with all of the above features, however through an automatic script created in $ZPFX/bin, not a function (the first item uses a function-based mechanism),
  6. Automatic updates of Ruby gems and Node modules during regular plugin and snippet updates with zi update ….

Install bin-gem-node

Simply load like a regular plugin, i.e.:

zi light z-shell/z-a-bin-gem-node

After executing this command you can then use the dl'' and patch'' ice-modifiers.

How it works – bird's-eye view

The sbin'' ice that creates forwarder-scripts instead of forwarder-functions (created by the fbin'' ice and elaborated in this How it works … section) turned out to be the proper, best method for exposing binary programs and scripts. You can jump to the sbin'' ice section if you want. This way there is no need to add anything to $PATHz-a-bin-gem-node will automatically create a function that will wrap the binary and provide it on the command line as if it was being placed in the $PATH. Also, as mentioned in the enumeration, the function can automatically export $GEM_HOME, $NODE_PATH, $VIRTUALENV shell variables and also automatically cd into the plugin or snippet directory right before executing the binary and then cd back to the original directory after the execution is finished. Also, as already mentioned, instead of the function an automatically created script – the so-called shim – can be used for the same purpose and with the same functionality, so that the command is being accessible practically fully normally – not only in the live Zsh session (only within which the functions created by fbin'' exist) but also from any Zsh script.

How it works

Suppose that you would want to install junegunn/fzf plugin from GitHub Releases, which contains only a single file – the fzf binary for the selected architecture. It is possible to do it in the standard way – by adding the plugin's directory to the $PATH:

zi ice as"command" from"gh-r"zi load junegunn/fzf

After this command, the $PATH variable will contain e.g.:

% print $PATH/home/sg/.zi/plugins/junegunn---fzf:/bin:/usr/bin:/usr/sbin:/sbin

For many such programs loaded as plugins, the PATH can become quite cluttered. I've had 26 entries before switching to z-a-bin-gem-node. To solve this, load with the use of sbin'' ice provided and handled by z-a-bin-gem-node:

zi ice from"gh-r" sbin"fzf"zi load junegunn/fzf

The $PATH will remain unchanged and a fzf forwarder-script, so-called shim will be created in $ZPFX/bin (~/.zi/polaris/bin by default), which is being already added to the $PATH by ZI when it is being sourced:

% cat $ZPFX/bin/fzf#!/usr/bin/env zshfunction fzf {    local bindir="/home/sg/.zi/plugins/junegunn---fzf"    "$bindir"/"fzf" "[email protected]"}fzf "[email protected]"

Running the script will forward the call to the program accessed through an embedded path to it. Thus, no $PATH changes are needed!

The Ice Modifiers Provided By The Annex

There are 7 ice modifiers provided and handled by the annex:

Ice modifierDescription
sbin''Creates shims for binaries and scripts.
fbin''Creates functions for binaries and scripts.
gem''Installs and updates gems + creates functions for gems' binaries.
node''Installs and updates node_modules + creates functions for binaries of the modules.
pip''Installs and updates python packages into a virtualenv + creates functions for binaries of the packages.
fmod''Creates wrapping functions for other functions.
fsrc''Creates functions that source given scripts.
ferc''The same as fsrc'', but using an alternate script-loading method.

SBIN''

sbin'[{g|n|c|N|E|O}:]{path-to-binary}[ -> {name-of-the-script}]; …'

It creates the so-called shim known from rbenv – a wrapper script that forwards the call to the actual binary. The script is created always under the same, standard, and single $PATH entry: $ZPFX/bin (which is ~/.zi/polaris/bin by default). The flags have the same meaning as with fbin'' ice.

Example:

% zi delete junegunn/fzfDelete /home/sg/.zi/plugins/junegunn---fzf?[yY/n…]yDone (action executed, exit code: 0)% zi ice from"gh-r" sbin"fzf"% zi load junegunn/fzf…installation messages…% cat $ZPFX/bin/fzf#!/usr/bin/env zshfunction fzf {    local bindir="/home/sg/.zi/plugins/junegunn---fzf"    "$bindir"/"fzf" "[email protected]"}fzf "[email protected]"

The ice can be empty. It will then try to create the shim for the trailing component of the id_as ice, e.g.:

  • id_as'exts/git-my' → it'll check if a file git-my exists and if yes, will create the function git-my.

  • paulirish/git-open it'll check if a file git-open exists and if yes, will create the function git-open.

The same trailing component would be set for the snippet URL, for any alphabetically first and executable file.

FBIN''

fbin'[{g|n|c|N|E|O}:]{path-to-binary}[ -> {name-of-the-function}]; …'

Creates a wrapper function of the name the same as the last segment of the path or as {name-of-the-function}.

FlagDescription
gSet $GEM_HOME variable to {plugin-dir}.
nSet $NODE_PATH variable to {plugin-dir}/node_modules.
pSet $VIRTUALENV variable to {plugin-dir}/venv.
ccd to the plugin's directory before running the program and then cd back after it has been run.
NAppend &>/dev/null to the call of the binary, i.e. redirect both standard output and standard error to /dev/null.
EAppend 2>/dev/null to the call of the binary, i.e. redirect standard error to /dev/null.
OAppend >/dev/null to the call of the binary, i.e. redirect standard output to /dev/null.

Example:

% zi ice from"gh-r" fbin"g:fzf -> myfzf"% zi load junegunn/fzf% which myfzfmyfzf () {        local bindir="/home/sg/.zi/plugins/junegunn---fzf"        local -x GEM_HOME="/home/sg/.zi/plugins/junegunn---fzf"        "$bindir"/"fzf" "[email protected]"}

The ice can be empty. It will then try to create the function for the trailing component of the id_as ice, e.g.:

  • id_as'exts/git-my' → it'll check if a file git-my exists and if yes, will create the function git-my.

  • paulirish/git-open it'll check if a file git-open exists and if yes, will create the function git-open.

The same trailing component would be set for the snippet URL, for any alphabetically first and executable file.

GEM''

gem'{gem-name}; …'

gem'[{path-to-binary} <-] !{gem-name} [-> {name-of-the-function}]; …'

Installs the gem of name {gem-name} with $GEM_HOME set to the plugin's or snippet's directory. In other words, the gem and its dependencies will be installed locally in that directory. In the second form, it also creates a wrapper function identical to the one created with fbin'' ice.

Example:

% zi ice gem'!asciidoctor'% zi load z-shell/null% which asciidoctorasciidoctor () {        local bindir="/home/sg/.zi/plugins/z-shell---null/bin"        local -x GEM_HOME="/home/sg/.zi/plugins/z-shell---null"        "$bindir"/"asciidoctor" "[email protected]"}

NODE''

node'{node-module}; …'

node'[{path-to-binary} <-] !{node-module} [-> {name-of-the-function}]; …'

Installs the node module of name {node-module} inside the plugin's or snippet's directory. In the second form, it also creates a wrapper function identical to the one created with fbin'' ice.

Example:

% zi delete z-shell/nullDelete /home/sg/.zi/plugins/z-shell---null?[yY/n…]yDone (action executed, exit code: 0)% zi ice node'remark <- !remark-cli -> remark; remark-man'% zi load z-shell/null…installation messages…% which remarkremark () {        local bindir="/home/sg/.zi/plugins/z-shell---null/node_modules/.bin"        local -x NODE_PATH="/home/sg/.zi/plugins/z-shell---null"/node_modules        "$bindir"/"remark" "[email protected]"}

In this case, the name of the binary program provided by the node module is different from its name, hence the second form with the b <- a -> c syntax has been used.

PIP''

pip'{pip-package}; …'

node'[{path-to-binary} <-] !{pip-package} [-> {name-of-the-function}]; …'

Installs the node module of name {pip-package} inside the plugin's or snippet's directory. In the second form, it also creates a wrapper function identical to the one created with fbin'' ice.

Example:

% zi delete z-shell/nullDelete /home/sg/.zi/plugins/z-shell---null?[yY/n…]yDone (action executed, exit code: 0)% zi ice node'ansible <- !ansible -> ansible; ansible-lint'% zi load z-shell/null…installation messages…% which remarkansible () {        local bindir="/home/sg/.zi/plugins/z-shell---null/venv/bin"        local -x VIRTUALENV="/home/sg/.zi/plugins/z-shell---null"/venv        "$bindir"/"ansible" "[email protected]"}

In this case, the name of the binary program provided by the node module is different from its name, hence the second form with the b <- a -> c syntax has been used.

FMOD''

fmod'[{g|n|c|N|E|O}:]{function-name}; …'

fmod'[{g|n|c|N|E|O}:]{function-name} -> {wrapping-function-name}; …'

It wraps the given function with the ability to set $GEM_HOME, etc. – the meaning of the g,n and c flags is the same as in the fbin'' ice.

Example:

% myfun() { pwd; ls -1 }% zi ice fmod'cgn:myfun'% zi load z-shell/null% which myfunmyfun () {        local -x GEM_HOME="/home/sg/.zi/plugins/z-shell---null"        local -x NODE_PATH="/home/sg/.zi/plugins/z-shell---null"/node_modules        local oldpwd="/home/sg/.zi/plugins/zi---z-a-bin-gem-node"        () {                setopt localoptions noautopushd                builtin cd -q "/home/sg/.zi/plugins/z-shell---null"        }        "myfun--za-bgn-orig" "[email protected]"        () {                setopt localoptions noautopushd                builtin cd -q "$oldpwd"        }}% myfun/home/sg/.zi/plugins/z-shell---nullLICENSEREADME.md

FSCR''

fsrc'[{g|n|c|N|E|O}:]{path-to-script}[ -> {name-of-the-function}]; …'

FERC''

ferc'[{g|n|c|N|E|O}:]{path-to-script}[ -> {name-of-the-function}]; …'

Creates a wrapper function that at each invocation sources the given file. The second ice, ferc'' works the same with the single difference that it uses eval "$(<{path-to-script})" instead of source "{path-to-script}" to load the script.

Example:

% zi ice fsrc"myscript -> myfunc" ferc"myscript"% zi load z-shell/null% which myfuncmyfunc () {        local bindir="/home/sg/.zi/plugins/z-shell---null"        () {                source "$bindir"/"myscript"        } "[email protected]"}% which myscriptmyscript () {        local bindir="/home/sg/.zi/snippets/OMZ::plugins--git/git.plugin.zsh"        () {                eval "$(<"$bindir"/"myscript")"        } "[email protected]"}

The ices can be empty. They will then try to create the function for the trailing component of the id-as ice and the other cases, in the same way as with the fbin ice.

Additional subcommands

info

To view subcommands registred by annexes run: zi subcmds.

There's an additional ZI subcommand that is provided by annex –shim-list. It searches for and displays any shims that are currently stored under $ZPFX/bin:

shim-list invocation

Available flags are:

zi shim-list [-h/--help] [-t|--this-dir] [-i|--from-ices] [-o|--one-line] [-s|--short] [-c|--cat]
FlagDescription
-h --helpShows usage information.
-t --this-dirInstructs ZI to look for shims in the current directory instead of $ZPFX/bin.
-i --from-icesNormally the code looks for the shim files by examining their contents (more info below [!]).
-o --one-lineDisplay the list of shim files without line breaks, in a single line, after spaces.
-s --shortDon't show the plugin/snippet that the shim belongs to.
-c --catDisplays contents of each of the found shim (unimplemented yet).
  • [!] shims created by BGN annex have a fixed structure, this option instructs ZI to show the list of shims that results from the sbin'' ice of the loaded plugins. If a plugin for example has sbin'git-open', means that such shim has already been created.

Cygwin Support

The sbin'' ice has an explicit Cygwin support – it creates additional, extra shim files – Windows batch scripts that allow running the shielded applications from e.g.: Windows run dialog – if the ~/.zi/polaris/bin directory is being added to the Windows PATH environment variable, for example (it is a good idea to do so, IMHO). The Windows shims have the same name as the standard ones (which are also being created, normally) plus the .cmd extension. You can test the feature by e.g.: installing Firefox from the ZI package via:

zi pack=bgn for firefox