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Issue 127: TFS Plugin Broken by latest VIM
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Status:  New
Owner:  ----

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Reported by, Apr 9, 2013
What steps will reproduce the problem?
1. Download the VIM executable provided by for Windows (7.3.46)
2. Install the plugin to work with TFS:
3. Verify that TFS functions operate as expected (checkout, status, etc..)
4. Download the latest VIM source code (currently 7.3.884) and compile using MSVC 2012.
5. Replace the VIM 7.3.46 .exe file with the .exe versioned 7.3.884
6. Verify that the TFS functions do not work.  They show in the command bar like they are executing but they do not execute.

What is the expected output? What do you see instead?
I expect the TFS plugin to work like it does in VIM version 7.3.46.  The plugin has been broken by 7.3.884

What version of the product are you using? On what operating system?
Versions 7.3.46 and 7.3.884 on Windows 7 X64.  Both versions of VIM are compiled for 32 bit and all other plugins work as expected.

Please provide any additional information below.
I attempted to use the VIMScript debugger to debug the scripts but I am a relatively new VIM user and so I wasn't able to accurately determine the problem.

Apr 9, 2013
> 4. Download the latest VIM source code (currently 7.3.884) and compile using MSVC 2012.
> 5. Replace the VIM 7.3.46 .exe file with the .exe versioned 7.3.884

In general this will not work as well as you hope. There are a lot of "runtime" files, including syntax scripts, standard plugins, documentation, and more which are also part of the 7.3.884 source code. You will have none of these if you just copy over the executable.

> 6. Verify that the TFS functions do not work.  They show in the command bar like they are executing but they do not execute.

Can you give a specific command (exact key sequence if a mapping), and the specific output you expected, and what you got instead?

One possible source of the problem MIGHT be a few changes that were done somewhere in those 884 patches to make shell quoting work by default in most cases on Windows. Check that your 'shellxquote' and 'shellcmdflag' and 'shell' and 'shellescape' options are set appropriately (in most cases they should remain at the default).

Without knowing the specific command you tried, and what actually gets executed, there's not much way to debug this.

Have you tried contacting the plugin maintainer? They can probably debug the problem easier than most others.
Apr 9, 2013
Instead of mixing some files of the 7.3.046 distribution with a newly compiled executable, you should use a consistent set, for instance the Windows installer available as the newest entry at which Vim-list old-timers have dubbed "Vim without Cream". It is currently at patchlevel 7.3.829 but it includes a consistent set of runtime files. Also, it is a Win32 executable but it will run on a Win64 machine too, and its shorter word length should not give you problems except with extremely voluminous files (2 GiB or more, let's say) or computations involving extremely big integers (more than 2147483647 in absolue value; floating-point numbers, OTOH, are the same on both architectures).

Before installing it, you may want to remove, with all its contents, the "vim73" directory containing your existing installation (but not the "vim" directory above it).

And like Ben Fritz said, try to contact the script maintainer.

Best regards,
                  BROTHER MAYNARD
                 "Monty Python and the Holy Grail" PYTHON (MONTY) PICTURES LTD

Apr 25, 2013
I downloaded the latest Win64 build from Haroogan ( which is at patch level 7.3.761.  I tried the TFS plugin and the plugin still does not work.  
I checked 'shellxquote', 'shellcmdflag', 'shell', and 'shellescape' and those are not mentioned in my _vimrc file.
I tried contacting the plugin author but I have received no response.  The command puts the following text at the bottom of my VIM window (see screenshot) but the file is not actually checked out from TFS.  
I have verified that the file path is correct and if I execute this command from a Windows command line, the file is correctly checked out from TFS:
C:\Projects\TFS\NCN - Other\MRASystem\Main\Go\src\mrawebtoolboxext>"E:\Programs\VisualStudio2012\Common7\IDE\TF.exe" checkout "C:\projects\tfs\ncn - other\mrasystem\main\go\src\mra\logger\logger.go"

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Apr 25, 2013
It looks like the plugin is manually escaping quote characters in the command with ^, which with default settings Vim will now do automatically as-needed.

It looks like the format of commands that run are:

  ! start /min cmd /c path/to/tool.exe ^"tool arguments^"

or, depending on the command or specific settings, I'm not sure which:

  r!cmd /c "path/to/tool.exe ^"tool arguments^""

"Does not work" means very little. What specific output do you get when you try to run a command that fails?

I don't have TFS installed, and the plugin invokes a big chain of functions to execute any command, so I tried the second command format with the 'dir' command, as follows:

r!cmd /c "dir /b ^"C:\Program Files^""

Doing this gives me:
E485: Can't read file C:/Users/btfritz/AppData/Local/Temp/VIoF289.tmp

If I remove the ^ characters (because Vim's default settings are now set up for these not to be needed anymore), I get a directory listing as I expect:

r!cmd /c "dir /b "C:\Program Files""

For now you can try removing the ^ escaping from the commands in the plugin. You should contact the plugin maintainer to let him know his plugin needs adjustment for Vim's new default shellxquote and shellxescape settings.

Note that ^" isn't actually a valid escape to include a quote within a quote. The quotes also prevent special meanings of characters, so the plugin was arguably wrong in the first place:

C:\>echo ^^
C:\>echo ^"
C:\>echo "^""
Apr 27, 2013
Removing the ^ worked great, thank you.  Was this a change to VIM's behavior?
Apr 29, 2013
> Removing the ^ worked great, thank you.  Was this a change to VIM's behavior?

...sort of.

It's a change in the DEFAULT behavior.

Previously something like this:

  "C:\Program Files\MyApp\myapp.exe" "some arguments"

Would get executed directly in cmd.exe with no escaping or anything, which the wonderful world of quoting in Windows cmd.exe would interpret as:

  C:\Program Files\MyApp\myapp.exe" "some arguments

Which would obviously fail because "C:\Program" is not an executable program (and probably doesn't even exist as a directory).

The plugin you are using dates from when this was still the default behavior and is probably the only workaround that worked for the author at the time. However, as I pointed out, I have no idea why it worked, because it was wrong anyway. You can't escape quotes within quotes in Windows.

Anyway, Vim changed over a series of changes, each one less broken than the last, to actually execute something like this in the cmd.exe shell for the example I give above:

  (^"C:\Program Files\MyApp\myapp.exe^" ^"some arguments^")

This works in almost every use case, although another thread recently found something strange going on with parentheses between quotes or something like that.

Support was also added to execute something like this instead, but it's not the default, and I'm not actually sure what it fixes:

  "(^"C:\Program Files\MyApp\myapp.exe^" ^"some arguments^")"

Remember how I said that escaping quotes within quotes won't work? You might wonder why the above works. Well...cmd.exe will always strip off the first and last quote in a line that begins and ends with a quote. So it's actually like those aren't even there. Again though, I don't remember the details. I think we ended up with defaults that work *almost* all the time but still fail in specific less-common scenarios.

It's probably easier to do as some plugin authors do, and just build a .bat script in a temp file and execute that, so you don't need to worry about quoting.
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