Archive for August 5th, 2012

Updated 2013-12-09 to use much simpler code

One thing that is nice about Prism is that it provides hooks to extend the syntax highlighting, so it is straightforward to create a plugin that adds features like my line numbering, so I can do things like:

<pre><code class="language-javascript" data-linenumber=4>
function foo(arg){
  console.log('You said: '+arg);

Download the code.

Download the CSS (the linenumbering parts are at the bottom).

See an example (working together with the line highlighting plugin)(note that Chrome requires an explicit line-height on the <pre> to work). Continue reading ‘Line Numbering Plugin for Prism’ »

I've been looking for a good Javascript-based syntax highlighter, and it looks like Prism is it. It fulfills just about all my criteria: works on code blocks whether inline or in block elements, is HTML5-friendly, uses classes on spans rather than hard-coded styles, and is easy to extend. It's what is running on the website now.

But it's not actually perfect; it mucks about with class names more than I would like (though it isn't really a problem), and it uses a different name for HTML--class="language-markup" rather than class="language-html". That is easy to fix; just do Prism.languages.html = Prism.languages.markup and you're done. The biggest downside (though not one that affects me in real life; it just seems inelegant) is that it flattens the text to analyze it (it uses var code = element.textContent.trim();. It ought to be possible to use my range routines to wrap elements without flattening them.

Be that as it may, it works well; see just about any post on the blog.

Plugins for other languages:

Plus I added a Prism.languages.markup.jquery= /\$|jQuery/ so I could mark it up separately.

I've thought about creating my own syntax highlighter. I've been using Chili, but there are some odd bugs that pop up here and there and it doesn't seem to play well with Chrome. And it hasn't been updated in 2 years.

One thing I did want was line numbering, but that's been a bugaboo of syntax highighlighters for a long time—you want the numbers but do not want them copied when code is selected. Firefox copies the numbers when using <li> elements, and tables or inserted text will also copy everything. The answer seems to be using :before to insert the line numbers, since that text won't be copied in any modern browser (IE 8 and below don't support :before, but we won't worry about that).

The issue then is how to tell CSS about the lines. We want to wrap them in <span>s, as so:

<span class=line>This is a <em>text</em></span>
<span class=line>This is the second line</span>

And number everything with CSS:

pre.test1 {
	counter-reset: linecounter;
pre.test1 span.line{
	counter-increment: linecounter;
pre.test1 span.line:before{
	content: counter(linecounter);
	width: 2em;
	display: inline-block;
	border-right: 1px solid black;

And this is the result, exactly as desired.

This is a text
This is the second line

The keys in the CSS are lines 1 and 4 that set up the counter (change line 1 to linecounter 4 to start the numbering at 5 (counter-increment increments before displaying)) (change linecounter to anything you want as long as its consistent). Line 7 displays the value of the counter in the :before pseudoelement, and lines 8-10 are just old-fashioned styling to make it prettier. You of course would want to add some padding, margin, odd/even backgrounds etc., but that's old hat.

Continue reading ‘Line Numbering in <pre> Elements’ »