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My Vim Config

I install this repository to every computer I work on:

$ git clone github@github.com:gma/dotvim.git ~/.vim
$ git submodule update --init

Feel free to have a poke around, but (rather than copying it) I recommend building up your own Vim config by hand. You'll learn a lot more and are likely to end up with a setup that's just right for you.

Adding new plugins

Plugins are installed as git submodules, and loaded using Vim 8's builtin support for packages. I am using the minpac plugin manager, but only as a convenient way of updating plugins that I've already installed as git submodules.

I prefer installing plugins as git submodules because:

  • I can test the new version of a plugin and rollback more easily if there are breaking changes, or if it's an inconvenient time for me to pause and learn about changes to a plugin.

    I've found several plugins have changed their mappings and commands over the years that I've been using Vim, and it can take me a while to unlearn old keybindings. I like to choose whether now's a good time to make the switch, and submodules make it extremely easy to roll back.

  • I know I've got the same versions of the submodules on all of my computers. If I only used minpac to update submodules I'd likely get different versions to my known-working config if/when I setup a new computer.

I've written the add-plugin script to help me remember exactly what to do when adding a new plugin.

When considering whether to make a plugin optional (add-plugin -o) it's worth noting that filetype plugins (e.g. those with an ftdetect directory) should be installed in pack/minpac/start.

This is because they generally don't do much until you open a file of the relevant type, and are effectively loaded on demand anyway. The small amount of code that they do load is useful for filetype detection.

To remove a plugin

You need to delete the submodule, then remove the corresponding minpac config in packages.vim.

To switch to a fork of a plugin

If you want to switch to somebody else's implementation of a plugin, we can update the minpac config in packages.vim, then point the submodule at a different repo:

$ git config --file=.gitmodules submodule.<module-path>.url <repo-url>
$ git submodule sync

What I've read online suggests the above should be enough, but when switching from tpope/vim-markdown to gabrielelana/vim-markdown I found I also needed to do:

$ cd path/to/vim-markdown
$ git fetch origin
$ git checkout master
$ git reset --hard origin/master

Then, back in the main repo, commit the changes:

$ git add <module-path>
$ git commit -m "Switch to Gabriele Lana's vim-markdown plugin"

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