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Manage remote pathogen bundles from multiple source types.

I've been looking for a way to maintain a ~/.vim{,rc} repository. The natural solution is to just have a Git repo containing my ~/.vimrc and contents of ~/.vim. Sure, that's no problem.

Since I use pathogen, I have a variety of bundles that are repositories of various types: Git, Mercurial, etc. I strongly believe in the philosophy that version control should not be tied into the operation of the thing it is tracking. For that reason, using Git submodules as part of my vim configuration repository just seems stupid. This was not the problem that submodules tries to solve and it leads to a lot of problems and configuration difficulties. My adherence to this philosophy also means that I don't want to use systems like Vundle, though I appreciate the author's work in developing this sort of workflow.

So I decided to build a way to easily manage remote repositories outside of vim, without requiring the use of a specific repository. The result is vim-pandemic.


Clone this repo, and then run:

sudo python install

This places the pandemic executable onto your path (probably at /usr/local/bin/pandemic), and installs its dependencies to your site-packages folder.

Getting Started

By default, pandemic manages bundles in ~/.vim/bundle.remote. So, in your ~/.vimrc, you're going to want:

execute pathogen#infect('bundle.remote/{}')

In addition to having calls to pathogen#infect() for your local bundles.

Managing Bundles

Using pandemic is easy! Like, really, it actually is easy.

Adding a bundle

Using the add BUNDLE TYPE SOURCE command, we can easily add new bundles. BUNDLE can be any name you want to give the bundle you're storing, TYPE is one of the source types (run pandemic --types to find out supported types), and SOURCE is the remote source. For example:

$ pandemic add nerdtree git

will add NERD Tree to our bundle list. It's being developed in a Git repo on Github.

What if we wanted something from Mercurial because the developer is some kind of hipster? Easy:

$ pandemic add l9 hg

pandemic also supports things that aren't version-controlled. For example, you might have a directory that you simply want to copy over to your bundle directory. For that, you can just use the local type. Or, you might have a directory that contains its own update script called .update; for that, you can use the type script.

Adding new types is as easy as modifying to have more BundleActioners.

Removing a bundle


$ pandemic remove nerdtree

If you stick keep at the end, it will not delete the data from the bundle directory. I highly don't recommend that.

Updating a bundle

To update all bundles, just run:

$ pandemic update

Or, to update specific ones:

$ pandemic update nerdtree tagbar

Listing Bundles


$ pandemic list | column -t


Let's say you removed some entries from pandemic's database file but left the physical bundle files in the bundle directory. You can use:

$ pandemic list-dead

to find which bundles are still in the directory but not in the database file and vice-versa. You can then run pandemic update to get missing bundles or delete extra bundles yourself.

But what about disabled bundles?

pathogen allows you to append ~ at the end of a bundle name to disable it from being used at runtime. pandemic does a decent job of detecting this when you are trying to perform operations. Simply keep using the original name in your tasks. For example, let's say you installed NERD Tree, but then you disabled it and now you want to remove it. That's okay!

$ pandemic add nerdtree git
$ mv ~/.bundle.remote/nerdtree ~/.bundle.remote/nerdtree~
$ pandemic remove nerdtree

pandemic knows what to do. Please, just don't try to simultaneously have ~/.vim/bundle.remote/nerdtree and ~/.vim/bundle.remote/nerdtree~ exist at the same time. pandemic doesn't detect every form of idiocy.

What's up for the future?

I'm deciding whether I want to allow the user to enable or disable bundles from pandemic. Part of me thinks that this is a bad idea and is missing the point of the program.

This is dumb.

Yeah, probably. But it's suitable for my workflow, which is what I care about. When I was trying to think up names for this program, I accidentally ran across vim-epidemic, which does just about the same thing, only in Ruby, and also only with Git repositories.


Manage remote pathogen bundles from multiple source types







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