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Weird, if one's job is not plugin tester for nettuts I have a hard time imagining how Vundle could increase one's productivity. Installing and updating plugins is not something we do multiple times everyday. At worst, we do that every two months and it takes 5 (or 10, if we take the time to RTFM) minutes max…

> One of the first walls I hit was “how the heck do I navigate files in a project?”

Simple, just use or :Ex. Netrw, which provides the :Ex[plore] command, is a file explorer with a hell of a lot more features than NERDTree (browsing remote machines, for example) and comes with Vim. There's no need to install anything unless you really want something that is not in netrw. :h netrw

I second CtrlP. I love it. And both Syntastic and EasyMotion are pretty useful. Those plugins are worth checking if they solve a problem you have; otherwise don't bother.

But all those blog posts, always listing more or less the same plugins, may inadvertently make new/non Vim users believe that it's impossible to open files efficiently or do this or that with bare Vim which is rather unfortunate and… blatantly false.

Most of the time it's hard to say if the author knows about Vim's built-in navigation methods and decided to use a plugin instead or if he never took the time to learn them and just went with the most popular plugin out of ignorance and laziness. Like… if half the message was missing.




Vundle makes me for productive because I use my .vimrc across several machines. I also had some weird issue that went away with a :BundleUpdate. It is essential simply for the fact that it tees up easy plugin management and is a pre-requisite for the rest.

All of these plugins were installed to solve specific problem I have with Vim.

As a very new Vim user, it is comforting to know that some of the more irritating aspects that are difficult to understand out of the box can be removed. Thanks for the tip about `netrw`.


I "manage my plugins" when I have nothing more productive to do and it never takes more than 5 minutes. Vundle and its automatic management may be seen by its users as a productivity enhancer but the reality is that the productivity gain is actually very small.

Vundle, Pathogen, VAM, etc. are very useful (I use Pathogen) but for other things, orthogonal to productivity: keeping your `~/.vim/` tidy, simplifying install/uninstall…

Unless you spent countless hours a day installing/uninstalling plugins, which I hope is not the case.

Yes, we all install plugins to solve problems. What exactly are these problems would also be useful to know when we read posts like this. In this specific instance, opening a file or navigating the file system is something that can be done very easily and quickly with built-in commands or built-in plugins:

    :e **/foo<Tab>
    :Ex
It just so happens that the vast majority of Vim-related blog posts are lists of plugins dressed by enthusiastic semi-beginners (I know how it feels and I don't criticize that feeling and the urge to share it) who often barely know the basics. When helpless new users look around for information they only get superficial stuff and the "Install NERDTree" mantra repeated over and over while what they need is authoritative information and useful tricks for using vanilla Vim.

And yes, it may sound rude, but most of the problems of the world could be avoided if people just RTFM.

I like the warning you added to the top of your article and congratulations for dropping that bullshit Janus.


at first I was a little pissed about your comments, but on reflection appreciate your "tough love" approach. ;)

My hope is that I can continue to write my thoughts and this plugins list will get smaller. I'd love to advance and share that experience. Out of this list, NERDTree will probably be the first to drop off, but it is very handy for lost noobs.


I went ahead and noted your issues in the article. I agree with your premise.

I don't know if perhaps experienced VIM users forget what it is like to start "from scratch" with the editor, but it is a lot. When I write this stuff, I am most certainly ignorant. It would be very interesting to me to see more information about why these plugins might not be needed, but I've done a lot of reading, and this is _the first time_ I've ever seen `netrw`.


I certainly don't count as an "experienced VIM user" but I can talk from experience.

I started using it about 3 years ago so I distinctly remember how hard it was to find reliable information on the net and above all how misguided my attempt to turn Vim into a TextMate clone was. It took me a few months of tinkering before I changed my approach and decided to drop my 40+ plugins and the 1000+ lines long ~/.vimrc I didn't really understand and start from scratch.

That was the best move I could make and now I'm able to use bare Vim and my highly customized Vim with more or less the same efficiency: while I use a bunch of plugins, I'm not dependent and that's very important for me.


netrw? That's pre GitHub era. ;-)


I got your ";-)" but NERDTree was released in 2006 so, technically, even NERDTree is "pre GitHub".


>>Installing and updating plugins is not something we do multiple times everyday.

That doesn't mean it always feels good to go and update each one rather than update all in one go and adding, removing, listing - all are made so simple by Vundle. If someone still loves the good old dirty way then of course it's a personal preference.

However, I would appreciate auto update or update notification in Vundle ;-)




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