Wednesday 22 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 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: