F/ default vim configuration
VimL Ruby C Shell
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F/ Vim Configuration

The default configuration files for Vim used at F/. Tuned to play nice with MacVim but works with most *nix environments. Setup using homesick for that symlinkn' goodness.

To Get The Full Effect

F/ peops, double check, but you most likely already have the basic requirements installed on your machine.

  • Homebrew - ruby -e "$(curl -fsSL https://gist.github.com/raw/323731/install_homebrew.rb)"
  • MacVim - brew install macvim
  • Homesick - gem install homesick
  • node.js - brew install node

MacVim is not a requirement as the majority of the files work in most *nix environments including Terminal. It's recommended to use Homebrew's package of MacVim, as it compiles at 64 bit with Ruby, Python, Perl, installs the command line link mvim, plus a bunch of other goodness. Homesick is required for easy management of dot files with the repository. node.js is recommended for allowing the syntastic plug-in to run JSLint on your JavaScript files.


To install the files and default configuration run the following:

homesick clone git@github.com:factorylabs/vimfiles.git
cd ~/.homesick/repos/vimfiles
bash install.sh
homesick symlink vimfiles -f

* If you don't have commit rights use homesick clone https://github.com/factorylabs/vimfiles.git

This will install the default configuration files/directories, submodules, and create symbolic links for bundles and snippets. Most of the heavy lifting is done by the install script.

At this point you should have a default setup ready to rock. You're going to want to tune it a bit to your environment, so go forth and "Pimp Your Ride".

Pimp Your Ride

The install.sh script created a .vimrc.local file. This stores local configurations based on the user's needs, it is loaded after the .vimrc file. Anything created in .vimrc.local overrides settings set in .vimrc. This file is ignored and not checked back into the repository. It's recommended you keep a backup of this somewhere.

You'll want to tune a few settings right off the bat. Open the .vimrc.local file (in Vim type ,evl a mnemonic is "edit vimrc local").

  1. Uncomment g:yankring_history_dir and optionally change it's path, otherwise yankring will save it's history in a file in your $HOME directory
  2. Optional, point g:MarkdownPreviewUserStyles to the directory where your user specific style sheets for the markdown previewer reside. If your an F/ peop, you can clone the repository for F/ Markdown Themes and gain templates and style sheets to keep you out of MS Word.
  3. Set the default browser by changing g:RefreshRunningBrowserDefault. Use "chrome", "safari", or "firefox"
  4. Give yourself a signature with g:snips_author by including your name for various snipmate snippets
  5. Optionally uncomment one of the colorschemes, there are 4 included as described below, the default is colorblind
  6. It's recommended to uncomment the entire conditional under User GUI specific settings. We roll with the custom font MesloGM at 12px. You'll need to download and install it, otherwise roll with Monaco or something if you want to go blind. If you want to set a transparency, you'll need to enable Use experimental renderer in MacVim's preferences -> Advanced settings. The primary reason for uncommenting this conditional is, you'll find certain plug-ins need to be disabled or have certain settings applied to work across MacVim and various *nix environments.

You can apply custom key bindings in .vimrc.local, configure plug-ins, or override default settings.


Submodule plug-ins generate doc/tag files associated with help documents every time Vim is launched. This creates conflicts associated with pulling, updating or committing changes back to the main repository. It's necessary to clean these out before running any pulls or commits.

There are two shell scripts included to help in this process clean.sh and update.sh.

Updating From The F/ Repository

To update from the latest changes in the F/ repository run the following:

  1. Quit out of Vim
  2. bash clean.sh
  3. git stash or git add any updates from your environment spit out by the clean.sh call to git status
  4. git pull --rebase

Commit your changes back up to the repository.

Updating Submodules

To pull upstream changes for all of the submodules run the following:

  1. Quit out of Vim
  2. bash update.sh
  3. git stash or git add any updates from your environment spit out by the clean.sh call to git status
  4. git pull --rebase

Commit your changes back up to the repository. F/ will run this script once a week to keep the submodules as up to date as possible.


Plug-ins are managed using pathogen. All submodule plug-ins are stored in the bundle_storage directory and are not available to Vim until they are symlinked to the bundle directory. The bundle directory is ignored by the repository allowing custom configurations on a per install basis. To activate a plug-in run:

ln -s ~/path/to/vimfiles/bundle_storage/bundle-name ~/path/to/vimfiles/bundle/bundle-name

You'll need to restart Vim for the changes to take effect.

Adding New Plug-Ins As Submodules

New plug-ins need to be added to the bundle_storage directory and should be treated as submodules. To add a new one run:

git submodule add <remote_repository> <home/.vim/bundle_storage/bundle-name>
git submodule init
git submodule update
ln -s ~/path/to/vimfiles/bundle_storage/bundle-name ~/path/to/vimfiles/bundle/bundle-name

Test it out and if it's a keeper, add it to the repository, add it to the list below with a quick description and tell the world about it's greatness.

Vim Scripts has an enormous amount of repositories for all sorts of plug-ins. However, if the original author has their own github repository, try to clone from there instead.

Removing Submodules

  1. Delete the relevant line from the .gitmodules file
  2. Delete the relevant section from .git/config
  3. Run git rm --cached path_to_submodule (no trailing slash!!)
  4. Remove the directory from bundle_storage
  5. Remove the symbolic link from bundle
  6. Remove any descriptions from the README.md file

Default Plug-Ins

The install script created initial symbolic links for the plug-ins listed below. These are primarily file type oriented plus a few must haves. You can disable any of these by removing the symbolic link, but it would be a lot cooler if you didn't.

Additional Plug-Ins

These are the additional plug-ins included, but are not required. They are not linked to the bundle directory out of the box. If adding any of these, make sure to read the docs on their usage and what variables/settings may be required in .vimrc.local

  • argtextobj.vim - Motion commands for manipulating function arguments **
  • autocomplpop.vim - Live completion as you type, this can slow Vim down, but is useful in certain situations
  • autocorrect.vim - Corrects misspellings as you type i.e. teh -> the **
  • bufkill.vim - Unload, delete or wipe a buffer
  • camelcasemotion - Motion commands for moving between camelCase or words_with_underscores **
  • colorsel.vim - Interactive RGB/HSV color selector
  • Command-T - Just like TextMate
  • delimitMate - Automatic closing of quotes, parenthesis, brackets, etc. **
  • gundo - Graph Vim's undo tree so it is actually usable
  • html-autoclose.vim - Automatically closes HTML tags, doesn't play well with the delimitMate plugin
  • indexed-search.vim - Adds visual cues when performing searches within a file **
  • lustyjuggler - Enables a window for navigating through open buffers
  • specky - Plug-in for testing Ruby code with RSpec
  • tabular - Configurable, flexible, intuitive text aligning **
  • tailminusf - Watch the contents of a file in real time
  • vim-ragtag - Ghetto XML/HTML mappings
  • vim-repeat - Enable repeating commands mapped to "." **
  • vim-speeddating - Use CTRL-A/CTRL-X to increment dates, times, and more
  • vim-surround - Delete, change, and add "surroundings" i.e. parentheses, quotes, and HTML tags **

** - Recommended!


By default all of the snippet files stored within snippets_storage are symlinked into the snippets directory. These cover most of the languages used at F/. To see the available snippets for a given file type hit <F5>, a snippet is triggered using <control> <space>.

Certain file types like JavaScript have hundreds of snippets based on the native language and various libraries. This can become unmanageable pretty quickly. The solution is to breakout specific libraries into their own files. For example javascript-jasmine.snippets where it needs to be named as language-library.snippets. Since snippets are saved in the snippets_storage directory, you can be selective about what gets a symbolic link within the snippets directory.

If you are working in a project that includes jQuery, you would only have symbolic links created for javascript.snippets, javascript-jasmine.snippets, and javascript-jquery.snippets. Another project that uses node.js, you could delete the symbolic link to javascript-jquery.snippets and add in javascript-node.snippets instead. This will give you a more manageable list of snippets to work with. By default, all snippets are included at installation, you'll want to tune these based on your needs.

To learn more about snipmate and creating snippets, type :h snipmate

Syntax Checkers

The configuration uses syntastic quite heavily, most of it is out of the box. Buffers are checked after each save.

The JavaScript syntax checker runs off of nodelint (node + JSLint) instead of jsl which is included with syntastic. The submodule to nodelint is under .vim/syntax_checkers/compilers/. Also under this directory is nodelint-config. This is the default global settings for all JavaScript files and conforms to the F/ configuration. It's possible, with a global variable, to override this location. In your .vimrc.local file.

let g:NodelintConfig = 'path/to/your/config.js'

This will override the one in .vim/syntax_checkers/compilers/nodelint-config. There is one more level of overriding you can perform, and this is at the project level. At the root level of your project, stick a file in there with the name nodelint-config.js and add the settings required by your project. In order for this to work, within Vim, you'll need to set the project root directory as the cwd for the Vim session.

If you don't have node installed, a simple brew install node does the trick.

There is also an Objective C checker included. This uses the gcc and requires the cwd to have the .xcodeproj file in it.

To learn more about syntastic and syntax checkers, type :h syntastic

Editor Themes

Themes included with this configuration:

  1. colorblind: Black background, super vibrant colors
  2. snowblind: White background, vibrant colors
  3. cataracts: Grey background with muted colors
  4. bloodshot: Similar to colorblind but with muted colors

In the extras directory are Terminal themes to match the Vim color themes.

To use the Terminal themes, install SIMBL 0.9.7 and save the 64 Bit Terminal Colors plugin to:

~/Library/Application Support/SIMBL/Plugins/ 

The color themes have been designed with similarities in the syntax settings. Jumping between multiple languages should be easy on the mind and the eyes. Be adventurous and mix it up once in a while.

Most themes use the custom MesloGM font. Download, install and live the dream.



Within Vim type :h fcheat to view key and leader bindings for the F/ configuration

Turn Caps Lock Into The Control Key

The control key is in an awkward position and the caps lock key is basically useless. It's right there in the home row, so you might as well put it to good use.

  1. Open up System Preferences
  2. Select Keyboard
  3. Select Modifier Keys
  4. From the drop down, select ^ Control under the Caps Lock setting
  5. In the Select Keyboard drop down, you'll want to set it for both internal and external keyboards

Alias MacVim

  1. Launch MacVim from Terminal by typing mvim and hitting enter
  2. Right click the logo in your dock and select Options > Show in Finder
  3. Create an alias of MacVim.app and drop it in the /Applications/ directory (this will allow it to be found by Spotlight)
  4. Optionally choose to keep the icon in your dock Options > Keep in Dock

Working With Your Own Submodules

In order to keep your personal submodules available to forks but allow commits back to the upstream master repository from within the submodule:

  1. Create the repository for your bundle within git
  2. Then from the vimfiles directory add the submodule as you would any other submodule
  3. Within your newly created submodule, create a remote reference to the upstream master repository
  4. Make changes to the submodule and push updates back to the remote upstream master
  5. Then whenever you pull updates to all of your submodules, you as well as everyone else should get the changes

Here is an example:

cd ~/.homesick/repos/vimfiles/
git submodule add git://github.com/username/submodule-name.vim.git home/.vim/bundle_storage/submodule-name.vim
cd home/.vim/bundle_storage/submodule-name.vim/
git remote add push git@github.com:username/submodule-name.vim.git
git submodule init
git submodule update
ln -s ~/path/to/vimfiles/bundle_storage/submodule-name.vim ~/path/to/vimfiles/bundle/submodule-name.vim

Then whenever you make changes to the submodule:

cd ~/.homesick/repos/vimfiles/home/.vim/bundle_storage/submodule-name.vim/
git push push master

This allows you to make changes directly in your submodule, see the effects and push the changes back without maintaining multiple repositories and linking them back and forth. Defunkt has a good article about working with submodules.

License and Contributions

All licensing for the Bundles/Plug-ins should be found in their respective repositories. Anything written by F/ is of course open source through MIT. While contributions are welcome, you're probably better off forking and tuning it to your own machine.

Copyright (c) 2011 by Factory Design Labs

Permission is hereby granted, free of charge, to any person obtaining a copy of this software and associated documentation files (the "Software"), to deal in the Software without restriction, including without limitation the rights to use, copy, modify, merge, publish, distribute, sublicense, and/or sell copies of the Software, and to permit persons to whom the Software is furnished to do so, subject to the following conditions:

The above copyright notice and this permission notice shall be included in all copies or substantial portions of the Software.