Posted on Wed 29 September 2021

setting vim options makes me itch

It’s hard to break the habits of a lifetime – or at least, those rooted decades deep.

Ever since I can remember, I always wanted to be a goodfeather. Sorry, wrong reference. As far back as I can recall, I have been wary of making changes to vi (later vim) settings out of a fear that I would become reliant on them, and thence unproductive when I had to work on a freshly installed machine.

There are several good arguments against this position.

First, even a sysadmin who is professionally installing machines just doesn’t do that much by hand any more. A one-off machine is a rarity; a corporate cattle machine will have basically everything ready to go by the time anyone would want to log in and edit something.

Second, I spend far less time installing and investigating broken machines these days. It isn’t impossibly rare, but it is decidedly unusual now.

Third, humans are adaptable. Even if I were to become entirely dependent on soft text wrapping and line numbers, not having them is not the end of the world. I would notice fairly quickly and either make the appropriate settings, or more likely just carry on without them.

I suppose I am ready to allow a few more entries into my general .vimrc.

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