Automatically convert to and from your preferred vim indentation settings
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Insulate your superior whitespace preferences from the misguided preferences of others.

Tabs or spaces? This is the issue of our times, but the controversy doesn't end there. Among space-advocates, how many spaces? Two? Four? Eight? I've even seen three. With fixin, you can use whatever indentation scheme you want without stepping on anybody's toes.

This project uses git filters and ~/.vimrc. It doesn't actually use vim, so you can use any text editor so long as you've got a ~/.vimrc.


Put fixin and git-fixin in your $PATH.
You'll need perl 5.10 or later and Getopt::Casual from cpan.


git clone git://
cd fixin
git-fixin install
git-fixin add \*ixin
git checkout

In this example, fixin read your ~/.vimrc and converted all the files that match *ixin (git-fixin, fixin). Those files have 4-space indentation, so if your ~/.vimrc has a different setting they should be automatically converted.

For now, fixin only looks at expandtab (et) and stoptab (st) settings to do its calculation, so make sure to set those.

Now, whatever commits you make are treated as though they were written in the original indentation format. However, files must have modelines to be automatically converted.


Modelines look like this: # vim:ts=4:sw=4:tw=80:et

They are found in the first few (usually 5) lines of a file and describe per-file vim settings to use.

With fixins, you should turn modelines off: set nomodeline. Fixins uses the modeline to store the original indentation preferences.

If you want files to be automatically handled by fixin, add a modeline for the original formatting, then:

fixin file.c

to convert it. Next make the file will be caught by the filter patterns. You can get a list of what fixin routes are available by typing:

git-fixin list

If the file isn't in this list,

git-fixin add \*.c

will do the trick.

After these steps, make commits, merges, pulls, and whatever else as usual.


James Halliday (

The Universe of Discord

See Also

vim manual entry about modelines

info about git filters on stackoverflow