Vim options it turns out I want

October 22, 2007

This server recently moved from Fedora Core 2 to FreeBSD, and in the process I discovered that I had quietly become addicted to a few vim features, despite past dislikes of overly intelligent things that call themselves vi.

(I am pleased to report that the default FreeBSD version of vim does not behave that way.)

So it turns out to be necessary to set a few vim parameters to get it to behave the way I want. For my future reference, here's what I've found I need to set in $HOME/.vimrc so far:

set nocompatible
This is the easiest way to get multi-level undo, which has become my single must have, cannot live without it vim feature. (I should have expected this; I already knew that multi-level undo was addictive from using other editors with it.)

set backspace=indent,eol,start
I have also gotten used to being able backspace over anything, end of line included.

let loaded_matchparen = 1
This is one of those anti-features; I do not want vim to be freakily super-intelligent about (allegedly) matching delimiters.

I still sort of want vim to behave like basic vi, but apparently missing these features is now too basic for me. Such is the corrupting experience of using Linux, with its array of convenient extensions and GNU this and that.

(I care about this partly because I write most WanderingThoughts entries on this machine in vi, mostly out of inertia and habit.)

Written on 22 October 2007.
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Last modified: Mon Oct 22 20:48:52 2007
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