Many years ago, I wrote a Vim script to munge a ctags file and turn it into a primitive source browser for Java. I did it in part because I needed one, but mostly to spite a coworker that kept poo-pooing any tool that wasn’t Visual Age. “Who needs a fancy IDE?” I asked. My script would allow me to look up all the packages in my source tree, view the classes in each package, view the members of each class, and jump into the correct file to work on a particular member. It was simple, ugly, and slow, but it ended up being just useful enough that I kept using it. I planned to make it work better and clean up the code so that I could let other people use it without feeling like I had inflicted a hideous hack upon the world, but my attention span is short, and time and the programming community move much more quickly than I.

Today, I discovered Yegappan Lakshmanan’s Taglist plugin, which does pretty much everything I ever dreamed of my own script doing, and does it for every language that Exuberant Ctags supports (i.e., just about every language that you or I could reasonably expect to code in). If you have ever used Vim as a programming tool, you owe it to yourself to check this tool out.