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Re: am i using

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  • Ben Fritz
    ... I don t know about that. A person can use Vim exclusively and very efficiently without ever compiling it themselves. Vim is a powerful tool no matter how
    Message 1 of 24 , Feb 1, 2010
      On Jan 31, 9:26 pm, pansz <panshi...@...> wrote:
      > IMO most serious vim users should compile their own vim. Only casual
      > users should rely on distribution-specific version.

      I don't know about that. A person can use Vim exclusively and very
      efficiently without ever compiling it themselves. Vim is a powerful
      tool no matter how you obtain it. I still would not have compiled
      myself were it not for my playing around with Linux this year. On
      Windows in particular, Steve Hall's "Cream" build is more than
      sufficient for my needs, and kept up-to-date very well in terms of
      both patches and runtime updates. Maybe on certain Linux distributions
      which keep their Vim a year or more out of date this idea makes sense,
      but I still think even "serious" users can work for years without ever
      touching the C code.

      I would say that "serious" users should learn vimscript, but that's
      part of learning the editor. And they need not even know very much of
      it.

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    • Tim Chase
      ... I think I qualify as one of those serious users :) I run Debian stable, which tends to be pretty antiquated (and provide cause for Tony to give me a
      Message 2 of 24 , Feb 1, 2010
        Ben Fritz wrote:
        > Maybe on certain Linux distributions which keep their Vim a
        > year or more out of date this idea makes sense, but I still
        > think even "serious" users can work for years without ever
        > touching the C code.

        I think I qualify as one of those "serious users" :) I run
        Debian stable, which tends to be pretty antiquated (and provide
        cause for Tony to give me a little friendly grief/chiding/goading
        for running such old versions ;-) It was a big deal for me when
        a dist-upgrade moved me from 6.x to 7.x, and I still have some
        old machines that get nothing but security updates with 6.x on
        them. I've never done anything more compiling/C-related than
        read Tony's excellent build-instructions.

        -tim



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      • Ben Fritz
        ... This actually points out something I ve realized quite recently. As annoying as Bram s insistence on not breaking backward compatibility can get sometimes
        Message 3 of 24 , Feb 2, 2010
          On Feb 1, 9:01 am, Tim Chase <v...@...> wrote:
          > It was a big deal for me when
          > a dist-upgrade moved me from 6.x to 7.x, and I still have some
          > old machines that get nothing but security updates with 6.x on
          > them.

          This actually points out something I've realized quite recently. As
          annoying as Bram's insistence on not breaking backward compatibility
          can get sometimes (especially when the old behavior is arguably
          broken), it is VERY nice to be able to just jump into an old version
          of Vim and know exactly what you're doing. I've found that other GUI-
          based editors change their interface or keyboard shortcuts drastically
          from time to time, making efficient work in an old version very
          difficult.

          At work, I use versions of Vim from 6.0.something up to the latest 7.2
          release depending on what station/terminal I'm logged into, and can
          share my .vimrc between all of them (with careful coding with "has"
          and "exists" conditionals to prevent errors on the really old
          versions), which is a WONDERFUL feature that I don't think I've seen
          in any other editor (though admittedly, I've never used Emacs
          seriously, it could well have this level of backwards compatibility as
          well).

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        • pansz
          ... To do compile yourself is one thing, to touch the C code is quite another. Most Linux distributions are too free on packaging vim and user got a
          Message 4 of 24 , Feb 3, 2010
            > Maybe on certain Linux distributions
            > which keep their Vim a year or more out of date this idea makes sense,
            > but I still think even "serious" users can work for years without ever
            > touching the C code.

            To do compile yourself is one thing, to touch the C code is quite another.

            Most Linux distributions are too "free" on packaging vim and user got a
            completely unknown version of vim and it may change very often. You even
            don't know what feature will still exist and what unwanted feature will
            be added in the next update!

            So this actually is the problem of distribution package maintainer, and
            this is the reason I would recommend against using the
            distribution-specific version of vim.

            By using your own version of vim you can:
            1. know this is your vim and wanted feature is always there.
            2. update to the latest patch.
            3. embedded symbol information in it and have the correct stacktrace
            when crash.

            So, seriously, if you're using Linux please compile vim yourself. This
            does not require any knowledge in C at all.


            Well, if you're talking about the Windows version, then it seems no
            point compile yourself. Because you know you ARE getting the "Cream"
            version, but what is the percentage of Windows gvim users?

            Yes, Windows rule 90% of the desktop, but most of those poeple do not
            use vim, and vim runs not only in desktop but also in the server. I
            expect more than 50% of vim users are not using vim in Windows.

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          • Matt Wozniski
            ... Most vim users don t need this. Every distro that I know of has a package for a huge vim version with every applicable feature included (archlinux may
            Message 5 of 24 , Feb 3, 2010
              On Wed, Feb 3, 2010 at 3:26 AM, pansz wrote:
              >> Maybe on certain Linux distributions
              >> which keep their Vim a year or more out of date this idea makes sense,
              >> but I still think even "serious" users can work for years without ever
              >> touching the C code.
              >
              > To do compile yourself is one thing, to touch the C code is quite another.
              >
              > Most Linux distributions are too "free" on packaging vim and user got a
              > completely unknown version of vim and it may change very often. You even
              > don't know what feature will still exist and what unwanted feature will be
              > added in the next update!
              >
              > So this actually is the problem of distribution package maintainer, and this
              > is the reason I would recommend against using the distribution-specific
              > version of vim.
              >
              > By using your own version of vim you can:
              > 1. know this is your vim and wanted feature is always there.

              Most vim users don't need this. Every distro that I know of has a
              package for a "huge" vim version with every applicable feature
              included (archlinux may be the exception here - I don't think that
              they have a package that provides a "vim" binary with gui features,
              only a "gvim" binary). Your wanted feature will be there as long as
              you install a package that includes it, which is much easier and less
              time consuming than compiling from source.

              > 2. update to the latest patch.

              Most software users in general don't need this. The only reason to
              update to the latest patch is either to be able to make use of a new
              feature or to pick up a new bugfix. As someone who is an advanced vim
              user and scripter, it's rare for either of those to apply to me.
              Picking up a new feature for my vim build at home isn't too useful to
              me, since I still need my scripts to work for other people, and at
              $JOB. Picking up a new bugfix isn't too useful, either, even for a
              bug that I found and submitted the patch for - I still need to come up
              with a backwards compatible work-around instead most of the time.

              > 3. embedded symbol information in it and have the correct stacktrace when
              > crash.

              Most large distros (Debian, Ubuntu, Fedora, etc) have a package you
              can install to get the symbols. And most people don't have stackdumps
              enabled. And even the ones who do rarely want to report the crash or
              look into why it happened.

              > So, seriously, if you're using Linux please compile vim yourself. This does
              > not require any knowledge in C at all.

              But it also offers little advantage for the typical user, and requires
              extra work that is almost always unnecessary for the average user.

              ~Matt

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            • sc
              ... matt matt matt -- you re one of the smartest and most helpful people on this list but i can t let you make a statement like that without calling you on it
              Message 6 of 24 , Feb 3, 2010
                On Wednesday 03 February 2010 09:46:12 am Matt Wozniski wrote:

                > Most software users in general don't need this. The only
                > reason to update to the latest patch is either to be able to
                > make use of a new feature or to pick up a new bugfix. As
                > someone who is an advanced vim
                >

                matt matt matt -- you're one of the smartest and most helpful
                people on this list but i can't let you make a statement like
                that without calling you on it

                possibly the largest, but certainly a large subset of patch
                downloaders do so to decrease the time after patches are released
                and subsequent bugs are discovered -- the more people who stay
                current, the quicker new bugs are discovered

                we love vim, we love open source, and keeping an eye on things in
                this manner is our way of giving back to the community -- we, or
                at least some of us, have made good livings as programmers and
                feel it's the least we can do to contribute and stay in the game

                you must have meant "the only reason for most software users to
                update..."

                ok -- never mind

                sc

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              • Gary Johnson
                ... I m with Matt on this one. I normally have enough to do to keep up with my responsibilities on the project I m paid to work on--I don t have a lot of time
                Message 7 of 24 , Feb 3, 2010
                  On 2010-02-03, sc wrote:
                  > On Wednesday 03 February 2010 09:46:12 am Matt Wozniski wrote:
                  >
                  > > Most software users in general don't need this. The only
                  > > reason to update to the latest patch is either to be able to
                  > > make use of a new feature or to pick up a new bugfix. As
                  > > someone who is an advanced vim
                  > >
                  >
                  > matt matt matt -- you're one of the smartest and most helpful
                  > people on this list but i can't let you make a statement like
                  > that without calling you on it
                  >
                  > possibly the largest, but certainly a large subset of patch
                  > downloaders do so to decrease the time after patches are released
                  > and subsequent bugs are discovered -- the more people who stay
                  > current, the quicker new bugs are discovered
                  >
                  > we love vim, we love open source, and keeping an eye on things in
                  > this manner is our way of giving back to the community -- we, or
                  > at least some of us, have made good livings as programmers and
                  > feel it's the least we can do to contribute and stay in the game
                  >
                  > you must have meant "the only reason for most software users to
                  > update..."
                  >
                  > ok -- never mind

                  I'm with Matt on this one. I normally have enough to do to keep up
                  with my responsibilities on the project I'm paid to work on--I don't
                  have a lot of time to spend babysitting my tools. As it happens, I
                  have a personal interest in Vim so I do try to take the extra time
                  and effort to keep my various installations up to date.
                  Nevertheless, I would not recommend to anyone else that they do
                  this. I have very seldom found it _necessary_ to use the very
                  latest version. Before I learned about the Cream site, I just used
                  the N.0 version on Windows until N+1.0 was released and it worked
                  well enough.

                  If it ain't broke, ....

                  Regards,
                  Gary


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                • pansz
                  ... Do you really need the Huge version just for an Editor? Do you think most users should install features they may never need in their life? . Yes they have
                  Message 8 of 24 , Feb 3, 2010
                    >> By using your own version of vim you can:
                    >> 1. know this is your vim and wanted feature is always there.
                    >
                    > Most vim users don't need this. Every distro that I know of has a
                    > package for a "huge" vim version with every applicable feature
                    > included (archlinux may be the exception here - I don't think that
                    > they have a package that provides a "vim" binary with gui features,
                    > only a "gvim" binary). Your wanted feature will be there as long as
                    > you install a package that includes it, which is much easier and less
                    > time consuming than compiling from source.

                    Do you really need the Huge version just for an Editor? Do you think
                    "most users should install features they may never need in their life?".

                    Yes they have the freedom to install unnecessary stuffs, but this is
                    another story.

                    What I need is a vim compiled with *everything default*, i.e. a Normal
                    version with gui support. But nobody seems to provide it. They either
                    provide a Tiny version or provide a Huge version.

                    There always have been newbie questions in linux forums asking why his
                    vi does not have some feature, the reason is they've got the Tiny
                    version or even not the vim. When I tell them to "install vim" they
                    would claim that "they already got vim and the vim command works, why
                    should they install vim?", and from time to time you may waste your time
                    explaining why this vim is different from that vim, then you again need
                    to teach them how to find the package-name of vim in their distribution,
                    and then you need to tell them how to use their distribution's package
                    manager... oops, Telling them to download vim source and make install
                    vim is the best way so far, since this solves almost all problems of
                    this kind.

                    There are other issues for distribution specific vim, e.g. the
                    directory. They put system-wide vimrc in different directories, which
                    you may not know, because each distribution maintainer has different
                    preference. If you compile your own vim you know vim always lies in your
                    /usr/local/share/vim and you're more helpful to yourself and for those
                    who want to help.

                    For advanced user like Matt, well, may have no difficulties identifying
                    distribution-specific vim directories.

                    For many average people, if you go to ask "where is your vim installed?"
                    they may never give you the correct answer unless they're compiling
                    themselves. How could you help if you don't even know what version of
                    vim they may have and where is it?

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                  • Matt Wozniski
                    ... Yes, I do need the huge version. And yes, I think that most users should install features that they ll never need - installing those features makes their
                    Message 9 of 24 , Feb 3, 2010
                      On Wed, Feb 3, 2010 at 7:59 PM, pansz wrote:
                      >
                      >>> By using your own version of vim you can:
                      >>> 1. know this is your vim and wanted feature is always there.
                      >>
                      >> Most vim users don't need this.  Every distro that I know of has a
                      >> package for a "huge" vim version with every applicable feature
                      >> included (archlinux may be the exception here - I don't think that
                      >> they have a package that provides a "vim" binary with gui features,
                      >> only a "gvim" binary).  Your wanted feature will be there as long as
                      >> you install a package that includes it, which is much easier and less
                      >> time consuming than compiling from source.
                      >
                      > Do you really need the Huge version just for an Editor? Do you think "most
                      > users should install features they may never need in their life?".

                      Yes, I do need the huge version. And yes, I think that most users
                      should install features that they'll never need - installing those
                      features makes their lives easier, and has no significant disadvantage
                      for the average user. In the worst case, their vim binary takes up
                      slightly more space on disk and in memory. For most people, that's
                      simply not a concern. My web browser has features that I never use,
                      my terminal emulator has features I never use, my IRC client has
                      features I never use. My operating system includes drivers for
                      hardware that I don't have, and my kernel can run binaries tuned for
                      processors that I don't have. I have fonts that contain glyphs for
                      languages that I'll never use. And I consider all of that a good
                      thing, because it makes life easier for the people who do need those
                      features, or who have that hardware, or who speak those languages, and
                      they don't cost me anything significant.

                      > Yes they have the freedom to install unnecessary stuffs, but this is another
                      > story.
                      >
                      > What I need is a vim compiled with *everything default*, i.e. a Normal
                      > version with gui support. But nobody seems to provide it. They either
                      > provide a Tiny version or provide a Huge version.
                      >
                      > There always have been newbie questions in linux forums asking why his vi
                      > does not have some feature, the reason is they've got the Tiny version or
                      > even not the vim. When I tell them to "install vim" they would claim that
                      > "they already got vim and the vim command works, why should they install
                      > vim?", and from time to time you may waste your time explaining why this vim
                      > is different from that vim,

                      This, I can agree with. This exact argument is why Debian-derivatives
                      stopped calling the vim-tiny package "vim" and started calling it "vi"
                      - it is definitely a bad thing for people to not be aware that they're
                      running a stripped down version that only strives for vi
                      compatibility.

                      > then you again need to teach them how to find
                      > the package-name of vim in their distribution, and then you need to tell
                      > them how to use their distribution's package manager... oops, Telling them
                      > to download vim source and make install vim is the best way so far, since
                      > this solves almost all problems of this kind.

                      Except for the fact that it becomes extra maintenance to keep it up to
                      date. And the fact that they'll almost certainly have to use their
                      distro's package manager to install the dependencies, anyway, unless
                      they plan on compiling those from source as well. And the fact that
                      the resulting binary will likely be missing features that they would
                      like to have, simply because they were missing the build-depends for
                      them in the first place. I think telling someone "sudo apt-get
                      install vim-gnome" is a whole lot easier than saying "go read Tony M's
                      1500 hundred word web page about how to compile vim from source, and
                      try not to miss anything important, and then remember to keep it up to
                      date once in a while."

                      > There are other issues for distribution specific vim, e.g. the directory.
                      > They put system-wide vimrc in different directories, which you may not know,
                      > because each distribution maintainer has different preference. If you
                      > compile your own vim you know vim always lies in your /usr/local/share/vim
                      > and you're more helpful to yourself and for those who want to help.
                      >
                      > For advanced user like Matt, well, may have no difficulties identifying
                      > distribution-specific vim directories.

                      Most people don't need to know that. I don't know (exactly) where my
                      browser stores bookmarks, or where it loads its default chrome from.
                      I don't need to worry about where my kernel loads modules from, or
                      where my terminal loads its fonts from. When things are working
                      properly, the user doesn't need to know this. When things aren't
                      working properly, whatever guru on the subject is helping you out
                      knows how to help you find these things out. If a user doesn't like a
                      preference that his distro vimrc sets, he should just set it himself
                      in his vimrc. This has an advantage over compiling from source to fix
                      that problem, anyway - when he moves his vimrc to another machine, the
                      problem will be fixed there, too. If he'd fixed it by recompiling,
                      he'd need to recompile on the new machine as well. Saying that a
                      person should compile from source to adjust the path to the vim binary
                      is like saying that he should get professional help to stop snoring.
                      Sure, it's an option, but for most people the better option is to just
                      learn to live with it until it becomes a real problem.

                      > For many average people, if you go to ask "where is your vim installed?"
                      > they may never give you the correct answer unless they're compiling
                      > themselves. How could you help if you don't even know what version of vim
                      > they may have and where is it?

                      Ask them to paste a copy of their :version output, and you have almost
                      all of that information. Ask them to paste the output of :scriptnames
                      and you have basically all the rest of it. And all of that is a
                      usually a waste of time, anyway - it's nearly always enough to ask
                      then to check a ":verbose set foo?", or to see if you can reproduce
                      the problem yourself. Issues that are distro-specific, other than the
                      simple case of an option value being changed to a different default in
                      a systemwide vimrc, are relatively few and far between. And
                      discovering *that* the issue is distro-specific only requires
                      knowledge and an updated part on the part of the person helping, it
                      requires very little from the person having the problem.

                      ~Matt

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                    • pansz
                      ... This really depends, if you start an application and use it until shutdown then it makes little difference between huge and normal version. But vim is a
                      Message 10 of 24 , Feb 3, 2010
                        >> Do you really need the Huge version just for an Editor? Do you think "most
                        >> users should install features they may never need in their life?".
                        >
                        > Yes, I do need the huge version.

                        This really depends, if you start an application and use it until
                        shutdown then it makes little difference between huge and normal
                        version. But vim is a command you may use very often, a typical CLI use
                        of vim may require you enter and exit vim a lot.

                        For this kind of use, the startup-time of vim is important, if, like
                        many average users who have no budget for a new personal computer or
                        their company refuses to upgrade their 5+-year-old computer, the
                        startup-time of vim varies.

                        You want vim to start-up instantly, you customize your vim build. That's
                        quite straight forward. Many other software does not meet the situation,
                        because they don't typically launched by CLI and they will not be
                        enter/exit very often.

                        >> For advanced user like Matt, well, may have no difficulties identifying
                        >> distribution-specific vim directories.
                        >
                        > Most people don't need to know that.

                        Yes they did. A typical vim user may like using vim key-binding in most
                        CLI applications, especially they may like to have vim-style syntax
                        highlight for most files. e.g. using the macro included with vim to
                        replace the system pager. This script lies in
                        /usr/local/share/vim/vim72/macros/less.sh

                        You'll have to know where your vim installed, before you can use the script.

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                      • Ben Fritz
                        ... I have a computer at home that is now about 9 years old, with a startup time for HUGE Vim that is still faster than pretty much any other editor I ve seen,
                        Message 11 of 24 , Feb 4, 2010
                          On Feb 3, 11:51 pm, pansz <panshi...@...> wrote:
                          > For this kind of use, the startup-time of vim is important, if, like
                          > many average users who have no budget for a new personal computer or
                          > their company refuses to upgrade their 5+-year-old computer, the
                          > startup-time of vim varies.
                          >

                          I have a computer at home that is now about 9 years old, with a
                          startup time for HUGE Vim that is still faster than pretty much any
                          other editor I've seen, except probably Notepad. It only takes a few
                          seconds.

                          > You want vim to start-up instantly, you customize your vim build. That's
                          > quite straight forward. Many other software does not meet the situation,
                          > because they don't typically launched by CLI and they will not be
                          > enter/exit very often.
                          >

                          I think that most of Vim's startup time is in loading all the plugins
                          and .vimrc customizations. If you want to limit startup time, I think
                          your best bet is actually to simplify your user customizations.

                          I don't have any hard numbers, but I know my normal gvim takes a few
                          seconds to launch, whereas launching gvim -N -u NONE -i NONE happens
                          pretty much instantly even with a huge build.

                          > >> For advanced user like Matt, well, may have no difficulties identifying
                          > >> distribution-specific vim directories.
                          >
                          > > Most people don't need to know that.
                          >
                          > Yes they did. A typical vim user may like using vim key-binding in most
                          > CLI applications, especially they may like to have vim-style syntax
                          > highlight for most files. e.g. using the macro included with vim to
                          > replace the system pager. This script lies in
                          > /usr/local/share/vim/vim72/macros/less.sh
                          >
                          > You'll have to know where your vim installed, before you can use the script.

                          Compiling Vim yourself won't help you know where Vim is installed. I
                          imagine most people install Vim with a simple:

                          make config
                          make
                          make install

                          Nowhere in this do you specify the install path, unless you really dig
                          into the configuration.

                          If I want to know Vim's install location, regardless of whether I
                          compiled or not, I do: which vim

                          If I want to know what scripts Vim loads, again regardless of whether
                          I compiled it myself or not, I do :scriptnames. If I want to know
                          where Vim looks for scripts, I do :set runtimepath?.

                          The ONLY things I personally get from compiling Vim myself (not having
                          modified the source by hand yet) are:
                          1. I can always have the absolute latest version
                          2. I can try out unofficial or unreleased bugfix patches if I want to

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                        • Michael Henry
                          ... I can believe that. I m sure it depends on the user. For example, I compile my own Vim mainly so I can incorporate Ruby support, because there are a
                          Message 12 of 24 , Feb 4, 2010
                            On 02/04/2010 10:31 AM, Ben Fritz wrote:
                            >
                            > The ONLY things I personally get from compiling Vim myself (not having
                            > modified the source by hand yet) are:
                            > 1. I can always have the absolute latest version
                            > 2. I can try out unofficial or unreleased bugfix patches if I want to

                            I can believe that. I'm sure it depends on the user.

                            For example, I compile my own Vim mainly so I can incorporate
                            Ruby support, because there are a couple of plugins that I like
                            which require it.

                            Michael Henry

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                          • Matt Wozniski
                            ... The debian and ubuntu vim-gnome packages include ruby support, fwiw. I believe the fedora full vim package does, too. ~Matt -- You received this message
                            Message 13 of 24 , Feb 4, 2010
                              On Thu, Feb 4, 2010 at 6:52 PM, Michael Henry <vim@...> wrote:
                              > On 02/04/2010 10:31 AM, Ben Fritz wrote:
                              >>
                              >> The ONLY things I personally get from compiling Vim myself (not having
                              >> modified the source by hand yet) are:
                              >> 1. I can always have the absolute latest version
                              >> 2. I can try out unofficial or unreleased bugfix patches if I want to
                              >
                              > I can believe that.  I'm sure it depends on the user.
                              >
                              > For example, I compile my own Vim mainly so I can incorporate
                              > Ruby support, because there are a couple of plugins that I like
                              > which require it.

                              The debian and ubuntu vim-gnome packages include ruby support, fwiw.
                              I believe the fedora "full" vim package does, too.

                              ~Matt

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                            • Michael Henry
                              ... Thanks - that s useful to know. I m trying out Arch Linux now, and its package doesn t have ruby support (though it has mostly everything else, and it s
                              Message 14 of 24 , Feb 5, 2010
                                On 02/04/2010 07:10 PM, Matt Wozniski wrote:
                                > The debian and ubuntu vim-gnome packages include ruby support, fwiw.
                                > I believe the fedora "full" vim package does, too.

                                Thanks - that's useful to know. I'm trying out Arch Linux now,
                                and its package doesn't have ruby support (though it has mostly
                                everything else, and it's fairly up-to-date). I think I was on
                                Fedora 7 when I started compiling Vim to get ruby support,
                                though I'm not certain. But I should re-evaluate the Vim features
                                in Fedora 11 (which we use at work) to see if I still need to
                                compile Vim at work.

                                Thanks,
                                Michael Henry

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                              • Antony Scriven
                                ... I m busy enough that I don t even know what the latest version of Vim is, never mind compile my own. --Antony -- You received this message from the
                                Message 15 of 24 , Feb 7, 2010
                                  On 1 February 2010 03:26, pansz <panshizhu@...> wrote:

                                  > [...]
                                  >
                                  > IMO most serious vim users should compile their own vim.
                                  > Only casual users should rely on distribution-specific
                                  > version.

                                  I'm busy enough that I don't even know what the latest
                                  version of Vim is, never mind compile my own. --Antony

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                                • Tony Mechelynck
                                  ... Well, the problem with n.0 is that, with passing time, it can get very obsolete: see for instance http://ftp.vim.org/pub/vim/patches/7.2/README listing all
                                  Message 16 of 24 , Mar 28, 2010
                                    On 03/02/10 20:12, Gary Johnson wrote:
                                    > On 2010-02-03, sc wrote:
                                    >> On Wednesday 03 February 2010 09:46:12 am Matt Wozniski wrote:
                                    >>
                                    >>> Most software users in general don't need this. The only
                                    >>> reason to update to the latest patch is either to be able to
                                    >>> make use of a new feature or to pick up a new bugfix. As
                                    >>> someone who is an advanced vim
                                    >>>
                                    >>
                                    >> matt matt matt -- you're one of the smartest and most helpful
                                    >> people on this list but i can't let you make a statement like
                                    >> that without calling you on it
                                    >>
                                    >> possibly the largest, but certainly a large subset of patch
                                    >> downloaders do so to decrease the time after patches are released
                                    >> and subsequent bugs are discovered -- the more people who stay
                                    >> current, the quicker new bugs are discovered
                                    >>
                                    >> we love vim, we love open source, and keeping an eye on things in
                                    >> this manner is our way of giving back to the community -- we, or
                                    >> at least some of us, have made good livings as programmers and
                                    >> feel it's the least we can do to contribute and stay in the game
                                    >>
                                    >> you must have meant "the only reason for most software users to
                                    >> update..."
                                    >>
                                    >> ok -- never mind
                                    >
                                    > I'm with Matt on this one. I normally have enough to do to keep up
                                    > with my responsibilities on the project I'm paid to work on--I don't
                                    > have a lot of time to spend babysitting my tools. As it happens, I
                                    > have a personal interest in Vim so I do try to take the extra time
                                    > and effort to keep my various installations up to date.
                                    > Nevertheless, I would not recommend to anyone else that they do
                                    > this. I have very seldom found it _necessary_ to use the very
                                    > latest version. Before I learned about the Cream site, I just used
                                    > the N.0 version on Windows until N+1.0 was released and it worked
                                    > well enough.
                                    >
                                    > If it ain't broke, ....
                                    >
                                    > Regards,
                                    > Gary
                                    >
                                    >

                                    Well, the problem with n.0 is that, with passing time, it can get very
                                    obsolete: see for instance http://ftp.vim.org/pub/vim/patches/7.2/README
                                    listing all the bugfixes since Vim 7.2.0 came out (as a one-line summary
                                    of each of them).

                                    So, at the time I was still on Windows, when Steve Hall started
                                    publishing "more up to date" versions than the 6.1.0 (or was it 6.2.0?)
                                    available on the vim.org site, I used them. And then something happened,
                                    and those Vim versions stopped being upgraded: that's when I learnt how
                                    to do it myself, found out that it wasn't that hard, and published the
                                    result of my experiments as a HowTo page for Windows and some
                                    installable zipfiles for Windows (that was when the first 7.0 alpha
                                    versions happened, so for a time I published both 7.0aa builds and 6.3.x
                                    or 6.4.x). Then my computer broke down, and Steve took up again the
                                    tools fallen from my hands. When I scrapped Windows for a Linux-only
                                    box, I found out that my distro's Vim versions were much "slower to
                                    update" than what I was accustomed to, so I learnt "the Unix way" of
                                    building Vim. Again, it isn't really hard once you get the hang of it:
                                    that's the origin of my Unix/Linux HowTo page.

                                    Some bugfixes and enhancements have been very important for me, for
                                    instance when the ++ff modifier started being obeyed in all cases, even
                                    with 'fileformats' nonempty, or when glyphs for Unicode codepoints above
                                    U+FFFF started to appear correctly in gvim. Other people have other
                                    priorities. So I compile Vim as soon as a patch is published that is
                                    relevant on my system, and with all patches to date in sequence, even
                                    "irrelevant" ones (i.e., if a patch is Windows-only, I shall only apply
                                    it when a later "Unix" patch comes out), and I check (by rsync) the ftp
                                    site several times a day to see if there are new runtime file versions
                                    (which is probably much too often). YMMV.


                                    About the OP's question: Linux distros may distribute as many as four
                                    "Vim" packages, of which every Vim user must install at least two and
                                    may install more, as follows (names as they used to be when I was on
                                    RedHat):

                                    - vim-common runtime files etc., required for every Vim install.
                                    - vim-minimal a "tiny" build of Vim, with minimum features and no GUI,
                                    installed as "vi" in a directory which is always
                                    mounted on all Linux installations, even in
                                    "single-user emergency-repairs" runlevel.
                                    - vim-enhanced a "big" or "huge" build of Vim, with decent features but
                                    no GUI and usually no X11 (clipboard and client-server)
                                    support, installed as "vim".
                                    - vim-x11 a GUI version of Vim, installed as "gvim" in some $PATH
                                    directory which typically would only exist on systems
                                    where X11 is installed.

                                    If only the first two are installed, then you have "a vim version" but
                                    not a full-featured one. It is quite possible to install only the first
                                    and last ones, and to softlink the other "executable names" (see :help
                                    ex) to the resulting gvim. Or to install them all, they don't conflict.


                                    Best regards,
                                    Tony.
                                    --
                                    A lot of people I know believe in positive thinking, and so do I. I
                                    believe everything positively stinks.
                                    -- Lew Col

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                                  • Tony Mechelynck
                                    ... Well (I just checked) at this instant the latest & greatest is 7.2.411. The :intro (or :int) command will tell you what _you_ have (and the few top lines
                                    Message 17 of 24 , Mar 28, 2010
                                      On 07/02/10 19:45, Antony Scriven wrote:
                                      > On 1 February 2010 03:26, pansz<panshizhu@...> wrote:
                                      >
                                      > > [...]
                                      > >
                                      > > IMO most serious vim users should compile their own vim.
                                      > > Only casual users should rely on distribution-specific
                                      > > version.
                                      >
                                      > I'm busy enough that I don't even know what the latest
                                      > version of Vim is, never mind compile my own. --Antony
                                      >

                                      Well (I just checked) at this instant the latest & greatest is 7.2.411.
                                      The ":intro" (or :int) command will tell you what _you_ have (and the
                                      few top lines of :version will tell it in more detail). I hope it isn't
                                      5.x or earlier. ;-)


                                      Best regards,
                                      Tony.
                                      --
                                      There was a young poet named Dan,
                                      Whose poetry never would scan.
                                      When told this was so,
                                      He said, "Yes, I know.
                                      It's because I try to put every possible syllable into that last line
                                      that I can."

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