Chapter 15. Vim as IDE: Some Assembly Required

Although vi is a general-purpose text editor, from Day One it was also a programmer’s text editor. It has multiple features for making programming easier, particularly programming in C. (Consider the showmatch option, the automatic indentation features, and in particular the ctags facilities, as well as the facilities for maneuvering within troff documentation.)

Unsurprisingly, Vim continues in this tradition, but unlike vi, it itself is programmable, and in particular it supports plug-ins, the ability to load new code and add features directly into the editor.

As with many of the popular scripting languages, this extensibility has led to an explosion of new features and facilities for use with Vim—many more than any one person could have ever created working alone.

Also not surprisingly, a large percentage of these plug-ins are aimed at making programming and software development with Vim much easier.

In this chapter we look (briefly!) at plug-in managers and at some of the more interesting and popular plug-ins for use in software development.

Be aware, however, that the universe of Vim plug-ins is very large. Thorough coverage of all the possible plug-ins would require a separate book—one much bigger than this one is! Therefore, our treatment here involves much less hand-holding than do other chapters in the book; please bear this in mind as you read.

Plug-In Managers

Besides plug-ins that actually do something, there are also ...

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