language server protocol client for the vis editor
ecd67870 — Florian Fischer a month ago
fix wandering empty diagnostic highlights
fix diagnostic highlighting and message
c91a9c94 — Florian Fischer a month ago
allow to specify the syntax to use for the diagnostics commands



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A language server protocol client for the vis editor.

#What's working

vis-lspc currently supports:

  • textDocument/completion
  • textDocument/declaration
  • textDocument/definition
  • textDocument/references
  • textDocument/typeDefinition
  • textDocument/implementation
  • textDocument/hover
  • textDocument/rename
  • textDocument/formatting
  • [Diagnostics]

#What's not working

Everything else.

To my knowledge there is currently no good way to detect file changes via the Lua API. But this is essential to support Text Synchronization which is required by the LSP protocol.

A dirty workaround we currently use is to send the whole file content in a textDocument/didChange method call before calling any other method. If someone can come up with an idea how to solve this I would appreciate contributions.

Communicating with language-servers via other channels than stdin/stdout.

Currently, only a handful of language servers are configured by default. Their configuration can be found in supported_servers.lua.


  • vis must offer the communicate Lua API
    • The API included in vis >= 0.9 is supported on the main branch
    • For legacy support using the first API draft patches use the v0.2.x branch
  • The language server you want to use. Microsoft's list of implementations
  • Optional: the JSON implementation of your choice
    • must provide encode and decode methods
    • vis-lspc tries to find a suitable JSON implementation using those candidates:
      • json
      • cjson
      • dkjson
      • bundled fallback (no utf8 support)


  1. Clone this repository into your vis plugins directory
  2. Load the plugin in your visrc.lua with require('plugins/vis-lspc')

#Easy vis-lspc installation with Guix 'R Us

The Guix 'R Us channel provides a fork of vis with the communicate API patches applied. Additionally, vis-lspc is bundled for convenience.

After adding Guix 'R Us to your channels.scm, run the following command to build and install vis-lsp:

guix install vis-lsp

Alternatively, you can clone Guix 'R Us and install from a local git checkout:

git clone https://git.sr.ht/~whereiseveryone/guixrus

cd guixrus

guix install -L . vis-lsp


vis-lspc provides some default key bindings:

#Default Bindings

Normal mode:
<F2> - start a language server for win.syntax
<F3> - open win.file with a running language server
<C-]> | <gd> - jump to the definition of the symbol under the main cursor
<gD> - jump to declaration
<gd> - jump to definition
<gi> - jump to implementation
<gr> - show references
< D> - jump to type definition
<C-t> - go back in the jump history
< e> - show diagnostics of current line
<K> - hover over current position
Normal and Insert mode:
<C- > - get completions

#Available commands

# language-server management:
lspc-start-server [syntax] - start a language server for syntax or win.syntax
lspc-stop-server [syntax] - stop the language server for syntax or win.syntax

# file registration:
lspc-open - register the file in the current window
lspc-close - unregister the file in the current window

# navigation commands (they all operate on the symbol under the main cursor):
lspc-completion - syntax completion
lspc-references [e | vsplit | hsplit] - select and open a reference
lspc-declaration [e | vsplit | hsplit] - select and open a declaration
lspc-definition [e | vsplit | hsplit] - open the definition
lspc-typeDeclaration [e | vsplit | hsplit] - select and open a type declaration
lspc-implementation [e | vsplit | hsplit] - I actually have no idea what this does

lspc-back - navigate back in the goto history

# workspace edits
lspc-rename <new name> - rename the identifier under the cursor to <new name>
lspc-format - format the file in the current window

# development support
lspc-hover - hover over the current line
lspc-show-diagnostics - show the available diagnostics of the current line
lspc-next-diagnostics - jump to the next available diagnostic
lspc-prev-diagnostics - jump to the previous available diagnostic

#Available configuration options

The module table returned by require('plugins/vis-lspc') can be used to configure some aspects of vis-lspc.

Available options are:

  • name = 'vis-lspc' - the name vis-lspc introduces itself to a language server
  • logging = false - enable logging only useful for debugging vis-lspc
  • log_file = nil - nil, filename or function returning a filename
    • If log_file is nil vis-lspc will create a new file in $XDG_DATA_HOME/vis-lspc
  • autostart = true - try to start a language server in WIN_OPEN
  • menu_cmd = 'fzf' or 'vis-menu' - program to prompt for user choices
  • confirm_cmd = 'vis-menu' - program to prompt for user confirmation
  • ls_map - a table mapping vis syntax names to language server configurations
  • highlight_diagnostics = 'line' - highlight the range or linenumber of available diagnostics
  • diagnostic_style = 'back:#e3514f' - style used to highlight diagnostics
#Configure your own Language Server

If vis-lspc has no language server configuration for your desired language or server you have to create a language server configuration and insert it into the ls_map table. Please have a look at #2 and share your configuration with everyone else.

A language server configuration is a Lua table containing at least a name field which is used to manage the language server and a cmd field which is used to start the language server.

Note: the language server must communicate with vis-lspc via stdio. Your language server probably supports stdio but maybe requires a special command line flag.

Additional fields are:

  • settings - a table of arbitrary possibly nested data. It is sent in a workspace/didChangeConfiguration to the language server after initialization. It is also used to lookup configuration for the workspace/configuratio method call.
  • init_options - table of arbitrary possibly nested data. It will be sent to the server as initializationOptions in the parameters of the initialize method call.
  • formatting_options - table of configuration data as found in the LSP specification. tabSize and insertSpaces are required.

Example: The language server configuration entry in the ls_map for lua-language-server

ls_map.lua = {
  name = 'lua-language-server',
  cmd = 'lua-language-server',
  settings = {
    Lua = {diagnostics = {globals = {'vis'}}, telemetry = {enable = false}},
  formatting_options = {tabSize = 2, insertSpaces = true},

Language servers configured in vis-lspc can be found in supported_servers.lua.


The returned module table also includes functions you can use in your own vis configuration.


Navigate between or in files, while remembering the current position in a runtime history.

lspc_open(win, path, line, col, cmd)
  • win - a window in which to open the file
  • path - the path to the file to open
  • line - the line to open. (nil for no position within the file).
  • col - same as line, but for the column.
  • cmd - vis command to open the file. (e or o, see vis commands)


All code except otherwise noted is licensed under the term of GPL-3. See the LICENSE file for more details. Our fallback JSON implementation in json.lua is NOT licensed under GPL-3. It is taken from here and is put into public domain by Tyler Neylon.