Debugging in Vim

Personally, I’m not a frequent user of debuggers. Most of the projects and code that I am involved with is easily debugged with good old “die(‘here’)”. But if you are looking for some help on how to use Vim with a debugger, have a look at the “Debugging in Vim” blog post.

Intermediate Vim

Intermediate Vim is a nice collection of Vim tips and tricks, which are aimed at somebody who is already familiar with Vim. (There is of course no single definition of what’s advanced, intermediate or introductory, so we’ll leave that argument out.) But the article is well worth the read, even if you already know all of the mentioned commands. A refresher is always welcome.

SpaceVim – extended Vim configuration bundle

There are many different configuration bundles for Vim, which easy the discovery, installation, configuration, and documentation of different plugins and features of this powerful text editor. SpaceVim is yet another one of these.

If you are new to Vim, or have grown tired of trying to tweak it to your liking, please give it a try. It might just work for all your needs.

Vim: persistent undo

Learning Vim is an endless process. Even after using it for two decades I still keep discovering new settings, features, and plugins that significantly improve my productivity.

The other day I came across “Ask HN: Best things in your bash_profile/aliases?” thread, with plenty of tips and tricks. One particular comment highlighted a feature that I kind of heard about but never got to setting up – persistent undo.

It turns out that starting with Vim 7.3 you can preserve the undo history between editing sessions. Which means that you make changes to a file, save it, close it, and when you reopen it later, you can press ‘u’ to undo the changes you’ve done during the last edit.

In order to set this up, you first need to create a folder, where Vim will store the undo history files. For example:

$ mkdir ~/.vim/undodir

Then, you need tell Vim that you want to use persistent undo and where to store the files. Edit the .vimrc file and add the following:

set undofile
set undodir=~/.vim/undodir

As long as you are using Vim 7.3 or newer and the directory exists, your persistent undo history will work like a charm.

Read the rest of the thread for more tips on how to clean it up periodically, and how to further improve your experience with Vim’s undo, using plugins that help navigate the undo tree.

Vim tweaks and updates

Over the last few weeks, I have significantly changed and updated my Vim configuration.  I’ve been using the editor for decades, and yet I every time I revisit my setup, I am amazed at how far the editor progressed and how wisdom the Vim community shares via themes, plugins, configuration tweaks, etc.

Here are some of the highlights this time around:

  • Switched from Pathogen plugin manager (and Ansible bits) to Vundle.
  • Added vim-devicons plugin and a patched font that supports them.
  • Switched from Syntastic to ALE for faster and better syntax checks.
  • Improved the code completion configuration, tags, and such.
  • Added a whole bunch of plugins for developers.

I am still getting used to some new shortcuts, catching up on the documentation, and trying things out.  But if it’s been a while since you’ve looked at your own Vim configuration, I suggest you do so.  Things are moving and evolving faster than you might think.