In this question, Gilles answered
Yet another possibility is to run
tail -fin an Emacs shell buffer and use Emacs's syntax coloring abilities.
Because I'm a vim user, I'd like to do this with vim, not emacs.
Does vim have this feature?
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You can write a multithread plugin to change the buffer(s) in real time in Python or any other script that Vim supports and has threads.
But this only works in terminal as far as I know. At least in X11, the GUI version will crash if the GUI is modified by another thread.
I like it short and without a lot of hacking or external scripts. You can run this oneliner from ex (whithin vim) when needed (or put each command in vimrc, for when log-files are opened.)
:set autoread | au CursorHold * checktime | call feedkeys("lh")
and additionally you can
:set syntax=logtalk to color the log
(if you would want to jump (nearly) to the end of the file, just use "G" instead of "lh" with feedkeys)
autoread: reads the file when changed from the outside (but it doesnt work on its own, there is no internal timer or something like that. It will only read the file when vim does an action, like a command in ex
CursorHold * checktime: when the cursor isn't moved by the user for the time specified in
updatetime(which is 4000 miliseconds by default)
checktimeis executed, which checks for changes from outside the file
call feedkeys("lh"): the cursor is moved once, right and back left. and then nothing happens (... which means, that
CursorHoldis triggered, which means we have a loop)
To stop the scrolling when using
call feedkeys("G"), execute
:set noautoread - now vim will tell, that the file was change ans ask if one wants to read the changes or not)
I like the idea to watch logfiles in vim (instead of tail -f), e.g. when you are working in an ssh session without screen/tmux. Additionally you can copy directly from the logfile, if needed, or save the output directly or ... whatever you can do with vim :)