Tuesday 21 May 2013

Vim for code reading

GUI-based IDEs are nice tools for reading code, when properly set up. SourceInsight is probably the best based on the combination of efficiency/quality/price.

What if you find yourself with only a (colour) text console? I've put together a small .vimrc to make reading code a nicer experience in those situations.

If you are new to Vim, check out the README in https://github.com/agelastic/vim-reading for basic commands. Those are all you need to read and navigate any code in Vim.

.vimrc in that repo does the following:
  • Ensures we are running a vim (and not vi) in a colour console
  • Turns on search highlighting and 'search as you type'
  • Sets detailed status lines
  • Turns on code folding and makes initial state 'unfold all', which I like more than the default 'fold all on opening file'
  • Turns saving some info on exiting file
  • Lets you use Tab for vim command completion
  • Maps Shift-Up and Shift-Down to move between Vim windows
  • Maps Ctrl-X to "exit vim"
There are several plugins that look useful for this task, but I'm not adding them to keep the config lightweight.

If you want do explore those plugins, here's a bunch of links: