Sometime in the early 1990s, for reasons I can't remember, I made the switch from pico to vim and
never looked back. Since that time I've been slowly tweaking my config, occasionally adding a
feature here and there, and always carrying my files along from one computer to another. My config
is still mostly stock, unlike some friends who read the O'Reilly book and somehow managed to
create a terminal version of Visual Studio. Every now and then I'll be working on a project and
decide to look for a small boost. Something like syntax highlighting for LaTeX or puppet-lint for
live syntax validation on Puppet manifests.
Every now and then I'll have someone come along who starts getting into vim. I've been using vim
for so long that it's a part of me so I always feel a little thrill when someone new rediscovers
something so old. I got this thrill just a few weeks ago when one of my Tweeples made the jump
completely unexpectedly. Unlike GUI based applications the full power of something like vim is
hard to wrap your head around. It's all bound up in exceptionally dense and esoteric documentation
that can require an large amounts of organic experience to decode.
Knowing this I like to make it easy for people. I try to dole out tips and tricks as they use it
so as not to become overwhelming. Which leads me to this post. Hoping it helps somebody scroll
down a bit and find the .vimrc that I've been using all this time. Unlike what I did with my
screenrc the .vimrc is much too large to chunk and describe in detail. With any luck the
comments are sufficient to describe most of the settings.
Probably the most non-obvious portion is the first bit referring to Pathogen. Pathogen is a
vim script that acts like a package manager for other vim scripts. Using the infect method it
allows us to import all of the scripts we've installed in ~/.vim/bundle in one go. Specifically,
Solarized color scheme: git://github.com/altercation/vim-colors-solarized.git
LaTeX helper functions and highlighting: git://git.code.sf.net/p/vim-latex/vim-latex
I find the most useful to be Syntastic. Whenever a file is written out it is syntax checked based
on the Syntastic plugin and any stylistic deviations or syntax warnings and errors are indicated
in a sidebar.
Setting it all up is pretty easy. Just follow the instructions on installing Pathogen and drop the
following in your ~/.vimrc.