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Coffee​Complete Plus (Autocompletion)

by justinmahar ALL

CoffeeScript autocompletions and more!


  • 2014.
  • github.​com
  • github.​com
  • 10 years ago
  • 2 hours ago
  • 11 years ago


  • Total 25K
  • Win 7K
  • Mac 12K
  • Linux 6K
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Linux 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0



CoffeeComplete Plus

CoffeeComplete Plus (CC+) is a Sublime Text 2 plugin that scans your CoffeeScript files on demand and makes autocomplete suggestions for you.

In addition, this plugin adds the “Coffee: Goto Definition” command, which will look up the class, function or variable definition of the selected token.

Do you miss the old days? When, at the control-tap of a spacebar, your IDE joyfully came running to you, list in hand, asking, “what would you like, sir?” And that list actually made sense? And suggested items you were interested in? I missed those days, so I decided to do something about it. I learned about Sublime Text 2. Best decision of my life. Then, I learned how to make plugins. My first order of business was to make this plugin—and now it's available for you to use.

Autocompletions. Zooming to definitions.

Let start coding again like the old days. With style.


Package Control

It is recommended that you use Sublime Package Control to install CoffeeComplete Plus. If you have Package Control installed, use the Package Control: Install Package command and search for CoffeeComplete Plus. Ouila. Start coding easier.

Manual Installation

In order to manually install CoffeeComplete Plus, clone the repository into your Sublime Text 2 Packages directory, which can be located by navigating to Preferences -> Browse Packages. Name the directory CoffeeComplete Plus (Autocompletion).

For your convenience:

git clone https://github.com/justinmahar/SublimeCSAutocompletePlus.git "CoffeeComplete Plus (Autocompletion)"



Autocomplete can be triggered in coffee files by typing the dot . operator or the @ symbol (which is shorthand for this) and then by pressing ctrl+space. The plugin will then try to figure out what you're doing and propose a list of suggestions.

It is also possible to configure Sublime Text to trigger autocomplete automatically, without having to press ctrl+space. This is not part of the plugin as there may be other triggers from other plugins that might be overwritten, but it's easy to add! See Customizing Autocomplete Trigger for how to do this.

Example usage: Inside a class, you type this. and press ctrl+space. A list of the available methods and properties is presented.

Goto Definition

Looking for where a class, function or variable was defined? Look no further.

Place your cursor on any word and press ctrl+alt+d in Windows/Linux, and ctrl+alt+d in OS X, to goto the definition of the selected class, function or variable. Life's good.

Alternatively, use ctrl+alt + left click in Windows/Linux, and ctrl+alt + left click in OS X.



Autocomplete will make suggestions when you trigger autocomplete after a dot operator. It starts with the current view, then branches out to other coffee files. Because of this, most lookups are blazingly fast. You can configure CC+ to exclude certain directories and to only look in others. This will further increase speed as less searching will be needed.

Autocomplete suggestions alphabetically show properties first, as indicated by a ○ symbol before each property name, followed by alphabetically sorted methods, as indicated by a ● symbol before each method name. Inherited properties and methods will be preceded by a Ⱶ symbol. This creates a nice visual breakdown of what you can do at any given time, and where things are coming from. Badass.

For example:

○ property1
○ propertyTwo
○ someOtherProperty
● methodOne()
● methodTwo(arg1, arg2)
● theLastMethod(arg1, arg2, arg3)
Ⱶ○ inheritedProperty1
Ⱶ○ inheritedPropertyTwo
Ⱶ● inheritedMethod1()
Ⱶ● inheritedMethod2(arg1, arg2)

Here are the main features. In the examples, [autocomplete] represents the user action of triggering autocomplete, which is typically ctrl+space.

  • Suggests instance properties and methods when operating on an instance.

    myLamp = new LavaLamp()
    # Suggests all instance properties and methods of LavaLamp.
  • Suggests static properties and methods when operating on a class.

    # Suggests all static properties and methods of LavaLamp.
  • Supports “this” keyword and any defined aliases.

    class LavaLamp
        heatUp: ->
            console.log "Heating up!"
        coolDown: ->
            console.log "Cooling down!"
        moveBlobs: ->
            # Suggests heatUp() and coolDown() methods
  • Any variable assigned to this in the constructor will be considered an instance property.

    class LavaLamp
        constructor: (@color, size) ->
            this.size = size
        moveBlobs: ->
            # Suggests color, size and moveBlobs()
  • Suggests super class properties and functions. This applies to both instance and static suggestions.

    # In the following example, we have a LavaLamp that extends Appliance.
    # Each class has static and non-static properties and methods.
    # Given the context, CC+ will suggest either static or non-static,
    # and will walk up the class hierarchy.
    class Appliance
        # Static
        @WARRANTY_YEARS = 10
        @calculateWarrantyExpiration: (currentYear) ->
            console.log "Expires: ", currentYear + Appliance.WARRANTY_YEARS
        # Non-static
        constructor: ->
            this.isSwitchedOn = False
        toggle: ->
            this.isSwitchedOn = !this.isSwitchedOn
    class LavaLamp extends Appliance
        # Static
        @BEST_COLOR = "Red"
        @isLampAwesome: (lamp) ->
            if lamp.color == LavaLamp.BEST_COLOR
                console.log "Definitely"
                console.log "Probably"
        # Non-static
        constructor: (@color, size) ->
            this.size = size
        moveBlobs: ->
            # Suggests color, isSwitchedOn, size, moveBlobs(), toggle()
            # Suggests WARRANTY_YEARS and calculateWarrantyExpiration(), which are static.
            # Suggests BEST_COLOR, WARRANTY_YEARS, calculateWarrantyExpiration(), and isLampAwesome()
            # These are all static properties from the complete class heirarchy.
  • After autocompleting a method, tab stops for parameters are provided (if applicable).

  • Expects that you don't suck at naming things. Will assume a class is UpperCamelCase and everything else is lowerCamelCase. It still works either way; it will just be faster if things are named properly.

  • For every 1 million autocompletions, a beautiful masseuse appears and gives you a massage. You must be tired after all that coding.

Support For Built-in Types

CC+ now supports autocompletion for the following built-in types:

  • Array
  • Boolean
  • Date
  • Function
  • Number
  • Object
  • RegExp
  • String
  • JSON

This makes life that much easier.

In addition, autocomplete suggests inherited properties and methods from Object.

Custom Types

If you find yourself using a third-party library often and would like to have autocompletions for that library, you can create custom type. This is essentially a collection of autocomplete suggestions. CC+ supports jQuery out of the box, but you can always add others. If you do add a custom type and would like to share it, please issue a pull request and I will add it to the plugin. If your library is used as function, like jQuery, you can map that function's return value to a type. See the configuration section for how to do this.

Type Hinting

Document your code and you shall be rewarded in many ways. One of these way is autocompletion. Another of these ways is a warm, fuzzy feeling all over.

CC+ can detect types using hints you provide it in comments. You can even add method headers with hints for parameters.

  • Variable assignment type hints
    • When you assign a variable, you can add a type hint that CC+ will use to look up the class autocompletions for you. This type must be in square brackets, and in a single-line # comment on either the same line or the previous line, in the form [TYPENAME]. Other text can surround the type hint.
# The [String] to add type hinting for
    myString = someObject.getSomething()

    # Now, CC+ knows that it's a String

    # Alternate way to add type hinting
    otherString = someObject.getSomethingElse() # It's a [String], son.
  • Parameter type hints
    • If you use Codo, or are in the habit of documenting your classes, you can add type hints for your method parameters as well. These hints must be in a single-line # comment above the method signature. The hint can either be in the form [TYPENAME] parameterName or parameterName [TYPENAME]. Other text can surround the type hint.
# [Animal] critter
    # [Boolean] animalEscapes
    feedAlligator: (critter, animalEscapes) ->
        if animalEscapes
            # CC+ knows that it's an Animal. Will he escape? Autocomplete and choose his destiny!
  • Method return type hints
    • If a variable is assigned to the return value of a method, type hinting can collected from that method. The method must have a single-line # comment on a previous line with the hint @return [TYPE]. This is a bonus convenience. Remember, you can always use the regular assignment type hinting mentioned above when assigning variables!
class Alligator

        # @return [Animal]
        getLastMeal: ->

        rememberGoodTimes: ->
            critter = this.getLastMeal()
            # CC+ will detect your return type hint and display suggestions for type Animal
            console.log "I remember the time I ate a critter named " + critter.[autocomplete]

Data-Hiding With Private Member Exclusion

CoffeeScript doesn't provide an explicit way to hide properties and methods of a class. According to Jeremy Ashkenas, creator of coffeescript:

The norm in JavaScript is that hiding stuff is not that big of a deal, and you prefix private properties of an object with an underscore, as a convention.

So, it's left up to you.

Using an underscore is all well and fine until your autocomplete list is all cluttered up with things you're not supposed to see.

CC+ to the rescue. You can define regular expressions to exclude any members of your choosing. By default, members starting with an underscore are not shown when working outside of a class (i.e., not using this.). See the configuration section for how to add/remove exclusions.

Goto Definition

Goto Definition is useful for finding where a class, function, or variable was defined or declared. Again, searching is performed from the current view and branches out to other files if nothing is found. With this, you can quickly jump between classes and zoom to functions—even ones defined in other files—with ease.

  • Supports classes, functions and variable assignment.
  • Searches backwards from selected token for assignment, then forwards.
  • Considers variables declared in for loops.
  • Considers method parameters.
  • Tries to find something rather than nothing.
  • Includes both mouse and keyboard shortcuts for convenience. Code your way.


  • Asynchronous and fast lookups. That means no UI freezing while waiting for completions or Goto Definiton. Hate that.
  • You can configure directories to be be excluded from global .coffee search. (recommended)
  • You can configure the tool to only search in specific locations. (recommended)

Default Key Bindings


Autocomplete: ctrl+space (after a dot operator)

Goto Definition: ctrl+alt+d or ctrl+alt+left click

Mac OS X:

Autocomplete: ctrl+space (after a dot operator)

Goto Definition: ctrl+alt+d or ctrl+alt+left click

Key bindings can be changed by navigating to Preferences -> Package Settings -> CoffeeComplete Plus -> Key Bindings. It is not recommended that you change the Default settings as they will be overwritten by plugin updates. Instead, make your changes in User settings, which will override the Default settings.


CoffeeComplete Plus has the following configurable settings:

User Settings

These settings are accessible via Preferences -> Settings — User.

Customizing Autocomplete Trigger

  • auto_complete_triggers — Characters that trigger the autocomplete menu.

    • Sublime allows for context-specific triggers for the autocompletion menus. This allows the menu to show as soon as . or @ are pressed. To add triggers for CoffeeScript autocompletions, open Preferences -> Settings — User and use the following to make the desired changes:
              {"characters": ".@", "selector": "source.coffee, source.litcoffee, source.coffee.md"}
  • Note that other auto_complete_triggers settings may be present in Preferences -> Settings — Default. If this is the case, simply copy the auto_complete_triggers from the default file into your user settings, add a comma inside the square brackets, and paste the curly brace section above.

General CoffeeComplete Settings

In CoffeeComplete Plus.sublime-settings:

Excluded Directories

  • coffee_autocomplete_plus_excluded_dirs — Excluded directories.
    • Directories to exclude from searching for CoffeeScript classes, functions and variables. All directories in your project are searched except for the ones that match the names listed in this setting. This is recommended. Some excluded directories have already been specified in settings.
    • Expected value: Array of directory names.
    • Example:
"coffee_autocomplete_plus_excluded_dirs" : [".git", "SVN", "pub", "docs"]

Path Restrictions

  • coffee_autocomplete_plus_restricted_to_paths — Restrict searching to these directories.
    • Paths to restrict the search to. If one or more path is specified, searching will be restricted to PATH_TO_PROJECT/your/defined/path. For example, you specify src/coffee. Now, only PROJECT_PATH/src/coffee will be scanned. This is recommended. If [], no restrictions are applied.
    • Expected value: Array of paths relative to your project directory.
    • Example:
"coffee_autocomplete_plus_restricted_to_paths" : ["src/coffee", "lib/src/coffee"]

Member Exclusion Patterns For Data Hiding

  • coffee_autocomplete_plus_member_exclusion_regexes — Regular expressions for members excluded from autocomplete suggestions.
    • CoffeeScript doesn't provide a mechanism for making members private in the traditional sense. Conventionally, private members are prefixed with an underscore _. This configuration setting allows you to define regular expressions for members you would like to exclude. By default, members beginning with an underscore are excluded.
    • Expected value: Array of Python regular expression strings.
    • Example:
"coffee_autocomplete_plus_member_exclusion_regexes": ["^_"] // Excludes members prefixed with underscore

Aliases For this

  • coffee_autocomplete_plus_this_aliases — Aliases for this keyword
    • Due to lexical scoping you sometimes need to assign an alias for this, such as that or self. Keep in mind, you can use a fat arrow => to have CoffeeScript do this for you under the hood. Regardless, this config setting allows you to add or remove aliases that cause autocomplete to behave just like using this would. No futher searching—this will be assumed.
    • Expected value: Array of alias strings.
    • Example:
"coffee_autocomplete_plus_this_aliases" : ["that", "self"]

Mapped Function Return Types

  • coffee_autocomplete_plus_function_return_types — Mappings for the return types of special functions, like jQuery.
    • You may want to make calls directly off of the returned values of special functions. For example, when using jQuery, you might type $(selector). and want some autocomplete suggestions. If you have a custom type defined, you can map the returns of function names, like $ and jQuery, to that custom type. See the next config section for defining custom types.
    • Expected value: Array of objects. Each object has a function_names property that maps to an array of string names, and a type_name property that maps to the string name of the type the functions return.
    • Example:
                "function_names": ["$", "jQuery"],
                "type_name": "$"

Custom Types

In CoffeeComplete Plus Custom Types.sublime-settings:

  • coffee_autocomplete_plus_custom_types – Custom types, allowing libraries like jQuery.
    • If you would like to define custom types, put them here. Autocomplete will then make the defined suggestions for you. By default, a type for jQuery is defined.
    • Method arguments have a name property, and an option insertion, which will be the text that is actually inserted. For example, this is useful for inserting -> syntax for callbacks.
    • Use the enabled property to enable or disable a custom type.
    • Use the following example as a starting point:
            "name": "MyType",
            "enabled": true,
            "constructors": [{"args": []}],
            "static_properties": [{"name": "CONSTANT_ONE"}, {"name": "CONSTANT_TWO"}],
                {"name":"myStaticMethod", "args": [{"name": "arg1"}, {"name": "arg2"}]},
                {"name":"myStaticMethodTwo", "args": []}
            "instance_properties": [{"name": "thingOne"}, {"name": "thingTwo"}, {"name": "thingThree"}],
                {"name":"doStuffWithCallback", "args": [{"name": "numTimes"}, {"name": "callback()", "insertion": "->"}]},
                {"name":"doMoreStuff", "args": [{"name": "numTimes"}, {"name": "extraAmount"}]}

Built-In Types

In CoffeeComplete Plus Built-In Types.sublime-settings:

  • coffee_autocomplete_plus_built_in_types – Built-in types, like Object, Array, and String.
    • These are JavaScript's build-in types. These specs were gleaned from the Mozilla MDN.
    • Any of the built-in types can be disabled, if you'd like. Change the enabled property to false.

To configure these settings, open Preferences -> Package Settings -> CoffeeComplete Plus. It is not recommended that you change the Default settings as they will be overwritten by plugin updates. Instead, make your changes in User settings, which will override the Default settings.

Limitations and Plans

“Conceal a flaw, and the world will imagine the worst.” — Marcus Aurelius, 16th Emperor of the Roman Empire

Autocomplete is smart, but not Mensa smart. Under the hood, we're using regular expressions and lots of scanning. I coded this rather quickly, and it's my first plugin, so there may be (read: probably are) bugs. Please let me know if there are. As I build out functionality, I will try to fix its limitations.

For now, here is the list of TBDs:

  • Clean up code. Make modular/reusable. First priority.
  • Constructor support
    • Add constructors to built-in types
  • Additional built-in types (Error, etc)
  • Optional parameter detection
    • Square brackets indicate optional params.
    • Example: methodName(var1, optionalVar2="hey, I'm optional") will autocomplete to classInstance.methodName(var1, [optionalVar2])
  • Fix issues
  • Goto Definition knows types of objects methods are called on. Right now, it makes a guess.
  • Support for built-in types when getting the return type for a method.

Far too many times I've installed a plugin only to be disappointed because it fell short of my expectations. If you feel this way, please let me know how I can make this plugin better for you and I will do my best.

Happy coding!



CoffeeComplete Plus is licensed under the MIT license.

Copyright © 2013 Justin Mahar justin.m.mahar@gmail.com

Permission is hereby granted, free of charge, to any person obtaining a copy of this software and associated documentation files (the “Software”), to deal in the Software without restriction, including without limitation the rights to use, copy, modify, merge, publish, distribute, sublicense, and/or sell copies of the Software, and to permit persons to whom the Software is furnished to do so, subject to the following conditions:

The above copyright notice and this permission notice shall be included in all copies or substantial portions of the Software.