When I open a PHP file in Vim I want Vim to provide SQL assistance as well as all the PHP assistance.
From :h sql-completion-filetypes:

This can be enabled easily with the following steps (assuming a Perl file):

1.  :e test.pl  
2.  :set filetype=sql  
3.  :set ft=perl

I would like to automate this: So far I have tried

Appending the following commands to ~/.vim/after/ftplugins/php.vim

:set filetype=sql  
:set ft=php

This throws errors like

Error detected while processing FileType Auto commands for "*":       
E218: autocommand nesting too deep

Which I'm assuming is happening because when whenever the set ft=php command is run - it then re-triggers the ~/.vim/after/ftplugins/php.vim script which then re-triggers the set ft=php statement.
Is it possible to automate running these commands :set filetype=sql, :set ft=php when opening a php file?

  • setf sql.php to set multiple filetypes on a file. To automate this: autocmd FileType php setf sql.php Commented Dec 24, 2015 at 1:37
  • thanks, its a good idea, but unfortunately it doesn't work Commented Dec 24, 2015 at 1:53

1 Answer 1


On my Vim (7.4.944), the SQL filetype plugin performs the following check:

if !exists("*SQL_SetType")
    " NOTE: You cannot use function! since this file can be
    " sourced from within this function.  That will result in
    " an error reported by Vim.

That seems to be a good way to load sql.vim once. So, in my ~/.vim/ftplugin/php.vim, I added:

if !exists("*SQL_SetType")
    set ft=sql
    set ft=php

I don't use SQL in PHP, but AFAICT, the SQL settings were loaded.

  • thanks muru, it works! so basically this code snippet says: if SQL_SetType hasn't been set that means sql.vim hasn't run - so run the set ft=sql set ft=php commands - the set ft=php will cause your snippet to re-run - but your if condition will protect against the recursion (kind of like putting up shields to protect against disruptor fire - I guess...) Commented Dec 24, 2015 at 5:18
  • @the_velour_fog yep. If you're familiar with C, it's like an include guard. Note also that I used ~/.vim/ftplugin, and not after/ftplugin, since I want this to run as early as possible, so that a minimum of PHP-related code is called twice.
    – muru
    Commented Dec 24, 2015 at 5:39
  • Thanks for the explanation, I was wondering why you did that. Yes I am familiar with the programming pattern of include guards, but annoyingly I don't know vimscript, so I couldn't write something like your code snippet! Commented Dec 24, 2015 at 5:45
  • @the_velour_fog if it helps, I didn't write it. I just lifted it from sql.vim. :P
    – muru
    Commented Dec 24, 2015 at 5:46

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