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What is `Identifier` for?

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  • Quinn Strahl
    Howdy. I m currently trying to help maintain a community syntax plugin, and an uncertainty has caused some controversy: `:help :hi` contains a list of default
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 30, 2013
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      Howdy.

      I'm currently trying to help maintain a community syntax plugin, and an uncertainty has caused some controversy: `:help :hi` contains a list of default syntax groups, and among them is the very straightforward `Identifier`, which is explained as "any variable name". The problem arose when all variables were highlighted with `Identifier`; it was hideous. The default colorscheme (and indeed almost every colorscheme Vim ships with) was obscenely noisy and cluttered.

      It was argued that syntactical correctness was more important than conforming to the expectations of allegedly sloppy colorschemes that did not care to account for properly highlighted syntax, and while this did little to make the users happy about the change, it seemed a compelling argument in principle - until, that is, someone brought up the fact that `c.vim` (presumably the longest and best maintained syntax file; it is thought to be exemplary) does not even use the `Identifier` group.

      Eventually, it was decided that this all made it very unclear what the intended direction (from the perspective of the Vim project as a whole) was. Thus, I come to the source. From Bram's (and others similarly heavily invested in the project) own mouth, I'd like to hear what the best way to go is. Should we push for the colorschemes to get their collective acts together? Is `Identifier` a relic that should be left untouched? My hope is that the answers will be found here.

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