Announcing Perl-based automation of Notepad++

  • I use NppConsole (modified) to get a PowerShell console in a N++ dockable. I also wrote App::PerlShell which provides a REPL-like shell-like interactive Perl. So a quick Batch script called “nppplsh.bat”:

    @echo off
    plsh -P Win32::Mechanize::NotepadPlusPlus -p "npp> "

    … and now from my NppConsole, I can run nppplsh.bat and then:

    PS MVINCENT ~ > nppplsh.bat
    npp> print notepad()->getCurrentFilename();
    npp> print notepad()->getNumberOpenFiles();
    npp> print notepad()->getNumberOpenFiles(1);
    npp> print editor->getSelText();
    This is the text I selected for the 
    plsh and Win32::Mechanize::NotepadPlusPlus demo!
    npp> exit


  • Perhaps an even more interesting demo using the same selected text from the previous demo and some code from a recent post, I can get the MD5 hash of each line:

    PS MVINCENT ~\source\pynetsim > nppplsh
    npp> use Digest::MD5;
    npp> $eol = ("\r\n", "\r", "\n")[editor->getEOLMode()];
    npp> @lines = split /$eol/, editor->getSelText();
    npp> for $line (@lines) {
    More? $ctx = Digest::MD5->new();
    More? $ctx->add($line);
    More? printf qq(%32.32s\n), $ctx->hexdigest();
    More? }


  • @Michael-Vincent,

    I had never really gotten into REPL – never found one that I liked enough to frequently use – but I think App::PerlShell might be the one that starts me down that road, especially with this solution for NppConsole to embed the REPL in Notepad++. (If I ever get around to the v2.0 features – specifically, writing a wrapper Notepad++ plugin and thus enabling the notifications – I will probably try to use a combination of NppConsole as the starting code and @Ekopalypse’s experiments with embedding perl in a plugin, and include App::PerlShell as the default REPL for the plugin. That said, I have to get from early versions into a sold v1.0 before I work on v2.0 feastures. :-) )

    Speaking of working toward v1.0: I am working on documenting the hashes that are used for holding the message name/value pairs, and the argument name/value pairs (equivalent to PythonScript’s enum documentation). But I’m wondering if I should change from having just a couple hashes with messages and message-arguments intertwined (%nppm, %nppidm, and %scimsg) into having a different named hash for the messages compared to the arguments (pythonscript uses a separate enum/class for each type of argument). Or maybe go the other direction, and have a big hash-of-hashes like %enum = ( NPPMSG => { … } , SCINTILLAMSG => { … } , MENUCMD => { FILE_CLOSE => …, …}, … ), so if you were going for the FILE_CLOSE, it would be $enum{MENUCMD}{FILE_CLOSE}.

    I had originally kept them as just those three hashes, because that was easy from my convert-.h-to-hash method. But since I’m moving over to manual .pm for the messages/arguments, to allow for easier POD documentation of those hashes, now seems like a good time to make changes to the structure, if it makes sense.

    So, if it were up to you(*), would you prefer just the enums as they are, split into multiple separate hash variables, or combined into one mega hash-of-hashs? Or should I just do all three (I could easily build the existing-three out of individual variables, and the mega hash-of-hashes could actually just embed the individual variables.

    *: “up to you”, where “you” is defined as @Michael-Vincent , or anyone else who is likely to use Win32::Mechanize::NotepadPlusPlus as more than a one-or-two-time curiosity. :-)

  • @PeterJones said in Announcing Perl-based automation of Notepad++:

    So, if it were up to you(*)

    Let me give it think. My first instinct is to keep them separate instead of a single big hash-of-hash. To me that just makes more sense grouping N++, messages and Scintilla with their like instead of mixing.

    More on App::PerlShell - if you read the POD, there are other REPL’s for Perl that excel at certain aspects of REPL - one duplicates Python look and feel, another uses PPI for correct Perl parsing at the expense of many dependencies, etc. I wanted one that behaved more like a shell (e.g., bash, Powershell) but took Perl commands and none did that. That said, my implementation is probably pretty poor, rough around the edges and makes a multitude of assumptions. All this to say, happy for you to use it, that’s what it’s there for … but “production ready” it may not be like say Devel::REPL.


  • v0.002 released to CPAN

    • Reorganize the hash variables for easier and clearer use going forward (#13)
    • editor->getLine() on an empty line will now correctly return an empty string, not “\0” (fixed #14)
    • update API for getNumberOpenFiles to correctly use the constants (#17)
    • add notepad->getNppVar() for accessing the “user variables”, like FULL_CURRENT_PATH and CURRENT_WORD (#19)
    • improve documentation internal links (#20)
    • make the editor->hwnd() a public method (instead of using editor()->{_hwnd})
    • make the notepad->hwnd() a public method (instead of using notepad()->{_hwnd})
    • add helper editor->getEOLString(): convert EOL Mode integer to a string
    • editor->getFileEndPosition(): gives the end position of the whole document
    • improve test coverage: add encoding names and getLanguageName coverage to npp-buffer.t
    • examples/ folder: adding more example usages
    • improve Editor documentation on ->findText and some other methods, and clean up set/get pairs, so they share the same information
    • improve Notepad documentation, especially fixing the link for menuCmdID source file

  • v0.003 released to CPAN

    The user-centric changes that were made:

    • some of the Scintilla v4.2.0 messages that were implemented in Notepad++ v7.8 were missing, so add them (#29: thanks @Michael-Vincent for pointing this out!)
    • runPluginsCommand() = fixed command cache feature and improved test (#30)
    • added version notes, to say which messages and “enums” (hashes/keys) require NPP v7.8 (because these are the Scintilla v4.2.0 updates)

    I keep trying to improve this, and make it more usable. Suggestions and bug reports welcome.

  • @PeterJones

    Saw your N++ commit updating Perl keywords and the autocomplete API. BRAVO!!! I had an updated perl.xml autocomplete, but yours is way more complete and I’ve started using it this morning to test.

    Thanks for keeping Perl updated in N++!!


  • This post is deleted!

  • @Michael-Vincent,

    I was trying to figure out if I had a place to reply with that link, or whether I’d have to create a new post. I guess here was as good a place as any. Since Don accepted the PR, it should be in the next official release! (This is my first contribution to the main Notepad++, rather than just documentation or UDL, so I’m happy about that!)

    I basically wrote a regex to trim out just the functions (=item) and the brief summary line (=for Pod::Functions) from perlfunc.pod, then used another few regex to merge those together into the auto-complete format; that way, I am hopeful I didn’t miss any functions from v5.30.

  • @PeterJones said in Announcing Perl-based automation of Notepad++:

    I basically wrote a regex

    I did mine by hand. Happy to throw that away for your more complete and automated creation solution. I’ll be grabbing 7.8.7 when officially released.


  • v0.005 released to CPAN

    The user-centric changes that were made:

    • replace %ENCODINGKEY with %BUFFERENCODING, because the old hash had wrong values that didn’t match getEncoding()'s return values (#50)
    • add setEncoding() command to call NPPM_SETBUFFERENCODING as the logical pair to getEncoding() (#51)

    I had apparently missed announcing v0.004 and bugfix 0.004001, so for historical purposes, quoting from my CHANGES file

    v0.004001 2020-Jun-20

    • fix bug in notepad->prompt(), which only used two of the three
      arguments, in wrong order (#47); test suite verifies default
      values for title and default when they aren’t used
    • added new examples/ to show how to paste a
      clipboard entry other than CF_TEXT into Notepad++

    v0.004 2020-Jun-04

    • fix bug in propertyNames() which deleted final char (#45)
    • implemented helper methods: forEachLine, deleteLine, replaceWholeLine,
      replaceLine, flash, getWord, getCurrentWord, getUserLineSelection,
      getUserCharSelection (#15)
    • make setTarget an alias of setTargetRange, and write an alias of
      addText, for PythonScript compatibility (#15)
    • implemented new auto-wrapper to get searchInTarget and similar calls
      to work right (#42)
    • fixed replaceTarget() and replaceTargetRE() replacing target with the
      empty string (#41)
    • fixed length bug in getTargetText() (#40)
    • fixed bug in editor->setText(’’) which had empty strings
      cause crash (#39)

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