Note: ExpanDrive did not support regular FTP and was really slow saving/etc.
Now that I am using Vim, I noticed that I was having problems editing files over FTP/SFTP. I couldn’t use NERDTree and my other client, WinSCP, would open a new window (or tab) of gVim when I used an external editor. I wanted to browse an FTP/SFTP natively so that I could use NERDTree and edit as if I was editing locally.
The solution I found was using ExpanDrive, a program that mounts FTP/SFTP locally as a Windows drive. Once I mounted a drive, and chose a file to edit, I could use NERDTree to browse for more or use :vsp and drag a file on that split.
I have released my gVim configuration as an installable application for windows, check it out: Aubrey’s gVim
It all started with an annoyance with Notepad++, the CTRL+Y (Redo) key was not working and a NetTuts screencast. About two months ago I complained about VIM, yet I still have an itch to use it. I spent all day yesterday trying to get Vim going, and today I find myself frustrated again. Vim is very customizable, something I really like. But, that customization should ‘just work,’ hell I can’t even get a plugin installed correctly!
I installed a few different forks of Vim (called Cream) and a few vimrc/plugin combinations. But, I have currently reverted to base install gVim/Vim for Windows and started fresh. I will share my finding below.
This video helped me figure out plugins and how Vim uses folders and files. I used this video as a guide to install (and understand) pathogen and install ZenCoding.
I copied the content (extracted on my desktop) of Zencoding.zip to the bundle folder. This should automatically load your plugin since I installed pathogen.
Loaded gVim and typed div…
ZenCoding gave me hell, real hell, because I couldn’t figure out how to expand the abbreviations. But, after a little digging around, I found out <c-y> means type: CTRL+Y then a comma (,). I have a feeling Vim explanations like this are going to cause me not to use Vim. It worked though.
I opted to install more plugins, starting with snipMate.
I extracted snipmate.zip contents to my Desktop and copied them to the bundle folder I created. It worked well.
After all, I deleted the original snipMate and replaced it with a fork by spf13. I just downloaded the file (instead of using Git) and put it in my bundle folder (remember to delete snipmate folder if you did the above steps.
I started installing most of the plugins mentioned in this post, or in this post under the ‘Most of the bundles are git submodules facilitating easy updating and configuration’ section. Note, I did not opt to use the Ultimate Vim config, just the plugin suggestions he was giving.
The first was the colors. Once I installed it into the bundle folder, I could use (in gVim) the command “:color bluegreen”. For a list of the color schemes, I found this.
I had to edit my c:Program FilesVim_vimrc file and added “color bluegreen”.
Note: there is a menu, but it does not save the theme you are using as permanent.
Then I got to tcomment, and discovered (once I followed the install directions, not putting it in my bundle folder) that it seems to have installed in C:Program FilesVimvimfilesbundleColorSamplerPackautoload, which is kind of weird.
I installed HTML AutoCloseTag, but not with the bundle way, that did not work. I followed the install directions (putting it in C:Program FilesVimvimfilesftplugin) and it worked. I typed <body> and it would </body> and put my cursor in the middle.
I added au FileType xhtml,xml,php so c:/Program Files/Vim/vimfiles/ftplugin/html_autoclosetag.vim to my _vimrc file to make it work in PHP files also, because often I an doing PHP/HTML coding in a single PHP file.
At this point I was starting to feel comfortable with Vim plugins (finally!)
At this point, I was happy with the plugins I had.
Now I wanted to start customizing my _vimrc file. I found this post, which gave me a good look at the things I could customize.
At this point I was actually editing my _vimrc file using gVim.
I noticed CTRL+V worked for paste! Although I did want to use Vim, I did not want to ignore my normal keys. CTRL+C,V,X, etc and the arrows.
Here is what I pasted into my _vimrc file:
set vb t_vb=
Again, I had to do a :w! to write the file in Vim since it was in C:Program FilesVim.
I found this _vimrc file which had a lot of custom things I wanted. I added these to my _vimrc file. I did not overwrite my _vimrc file, just took what I wanted out of it.
"set guioptions+=b "show horizontal scroll bar
Then I noticed all the ~backup files that were getting created, annoying! I added set backupdir=c:temp to my _vimrc file and they were all stored in c:temp. I like the idea of having a backup, just not in the folder I am working in.
I am not sure why I ended up seeing this, but let me tell you my story (it may actually have to do with actually using a Microsoft product).
On occasion I get a friend’s computer; they have a virus, I know how to fix that. Well, one of the main problems was that they were using Internet Explorer 7 with a kazillion toolbars and who knows what else. So, I opted to update their browser…to what you say? Internet Explorer! I thought to myself, “They’ve really done a good job with Internet Explorer 9. Now is finally the time I am okay with installing Internet Explorer as a default browser on a Windows machine.”
But, I guess Microsoft and the Internet Explorer folks still are up to their, “We’ll do it our way, thanks” ways. I downloaded Firefox.
I just wanted to put this out there, that this is just such a useful app if you haven’t already heard of it.
Basically, on a PC, it gives you the ability to do a two-finger-scroll just like on a Mac. I was skeptical, but after using almost two weeks it has worked pretty flawlessly. I had to tweak some of the settings just a bit, but after I got it right, scrolling with two fingers is just so comfortable.
Okay, my backup plan is going sour because of Windows 7 today. But, Teracopy (portable), a sweet little app, is making copying a large archive of files (via a Windows 7 library, too!) pretty easy. I just did a ‘Select All’ in my ‘Archive’ library, drag to Teracopy, click Copy to and watch them copy (no Preparing to Copy/Discovering Items). Then, I’ll delete the old files in the Archive library.
What took 20 minutes to “prepare” using Windows 7 copy routine, I’ve already copied 1/2 of my 14gb of files. (Smile)