Calling external scripts in the shell in vimscript

Some of my vimscripts need to call external commands, through the shell CLI. I learned some quirks the hard way, and documenting them here

The basics

Calling an external command is done through system('external-command'). If you need to pass arguments you must wrap them in shellescape(myArgument) or it will mess up spaces and quotes.

The quirks

If you echom the result and see it through :messages, you might see some ^@ weird characters. Those are how vim displays new lines, but not how they are encoded in the result.

To split the result on new lines, you should run split(myResult, "\n") and not split(myResult, '^@').

Tags : #vim

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