A formatter for Fennel code
Update changelog for 0.2.3
run on itself.
Release 0.2.3.



You can also use your local clone with git send-email.

#Fennel Format

Format your Fennel!


$ make # compile fnlfmt script you can place on your $PATH
$ ./fnlfmt mycode.fnl # prints formatted code to standard out
$ ./fnlfmt --fix mycode.fnl # replaces the file with formatted code
$ curl localhost:8080/my-file.fnl | ./fnlfmt - # pipe to stdin

You can skip reformatting of top-level forms by placing a comment before them. This does not work for nested forms.

(fn this-function [can be formatted ...]

;; fnlfmt: skip
(local this-table ["benefits"          :from
                   "different kind of" :FORMATTING
                   "because of"        :reasons])

(fn this-function [will-be]
  (formatted :normally "again"))


Formatting is essentially an aesthetic process; any automated attempt at doing it will necessarily encounter situations where it produces output that doesn't look as good as it would if a human were making the decisions. That said, the goal is to at worst emit output which, if less than ideal, is at least not objectionable. Currently the indentation decisions it makes are great, but it occasionally puts newlines in places that a human would not.

For the most part, fnlfmt follows established lisp conventions when determining how to format a given piece of code. Key/value tables are shown with each key/value pair on its own line, unless they are small enough to all fit on one line. Sequential tables similarly have each element on their own line unless they fit all on a single line. Tables with string keys and symbol values will use {: foo : bar} shorthand notation where possible.

Calls are formatted differently depending on whether they are calling a regular function/macro or whether they're calling a special macro which is known to have a "body"; in the latter case every element is given its own line, usually indented 2 spaces in.

Forms calling match and if are treated differently; if possible it will attempt to pair off their pattern/condition clauses with the body on the same line. If that can't fit, it falls back to one-form-per-line.

Strings are formatted using :colon-notation where possible, unless they consist entirely of punctuation.

Top level forms may or may not have blank lines between them depending on whether the input code spaces them out. Functions defined inside a body form get empty lines spacing them out as well.

Similarly if forms and arrow forms will occasionally be allowed to be one line if the original code had them as one-liners.

#Known issues

  • When using fnlfmt programmatically, it may modify the AST argument.
  • Macros that aren't built-in are always indented like functions.
  • Page breaks will not be preserved.

#Other functionality

The file indentation.fnl contains functionality for implementing heuristic-based indentation which does not use a parser. This can be useful for text editors where you want to be able to indent even in cases where the code does not parse because it's incomplete.

The file macrodebug.fnl contains a replacement for Fennel's macrodebug function which pretty-prints the macroexpansion using the full formatter.


Send patches or bug reports directly to the maintainer or the Fennel mailing list.


Copyright © 2019-2022 Phil Hagelberg and contributors

Released under the terms of the GNU Lesser General Public License version 3 or later; see the file LICENSE.

Fennel is released under the MIT license; see LICENSE.MIT.