snp ruby Rubygems

Manage snippets in an automated and reusable manner

5 years after

snp - easy snippets for everyone

snp is a tool to allow easy snippet creation, in an automated and reusable manner. How many times did you create that small HTML document to test out if something worked quite the way you thought it did? snp's goal is to free the user from the creation of all boilerplate involved in the creation of such snippets, allowing the programmer to focus immediately on the feature that she wants to test.


It is often in many situations that we wonder how something works in a language or library. One of the best ways to find out the answer in such scenarios is to create a minimum piece of code that can test the specific case we have in mind. However, creating such files may involve some overhead and the creation of boilerplate code to allow the testing. This can cause people to give up creating the snippet and instead just look up on the Internet, which can take more time and you likely will not learn as much. The goal of this project is, therefore, reduce the cost of testing and learning on your own.


snp is especially useful for quick tests that you want to perform in environments in which a significant amount of boilerplate is involved. Suppose you frequently test the expected effect of jQuery functions. You could create a snippet such as

<%# file: ~/.snp/jquery_test.js.erb %>
  <head><title><%= title %></title></head>


    <script src="<%= jquery_version %>.min.js"></script>

      (function() {
        // code goes here

With that file set up once, whenever you want to perform a test of something related to jQuery all you have to do is type:

$ snp --title callbacks --jquery-version 2.1.1 jquery_test.js

Variable substitutions happen as you expect them to, and your favorite editor is fired up with the snippet content, waiting for you to actually test what you wanted in the first place.

Rules of the game

  • Snippet templates are by default placed under the ~/.snp directory. You can override that by defining the SNP_PATH environment variable, which accepts a list of directories in pretty much the same way that the shell's PATH does.

  • All snippet templates are ERB files and must have a name with the according .erb extension.

  • You do not have fill in every piece of dynamic content in the command line when creating a new snippet from a template. They can have defaults and you can define them by placing a yaml file with the same name as the template with the default contents of each dynamic piece of content in the template. Note that arguments passed to the command line override those definitions.

Example: suppose you have the following snippet named introduction.txt.erb:

<%= greeting %>, my name is <%= name %>, and I'm from <%= country %>.

You can then create a introduction.txt.yml file to define the default values for the dynamic variables in the snippet above:

greeting: "Hello"
name: "Renato"
country: "Brazil"

Now you can create snippets from that template using the default values using just:

$ snp introduction.txt
# => "Hello, my name is Renato, and I'm from Brazil."

You can override specific values when creating a new snippet as well:

$ snp --name David --country UK
# => "Hello, my name is David, and I'm from UK."


As easy as

$ gem install snp

If you prefer, you can also download a standalone version at


Email me, or create an issue/pull request on the GitHub repository.


MIT. See COPYING file for details.

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