Vim is forever

In case you were curious, this is where I spend my days. It's vim, the famous modal text editor.


Vim users have an unfair reputation for cultism, largely because newcomers find it shockingly different to anything they've coded with before. Not everyone overcomes this, which is cool. Some people just like mousing around. I am not one of these people.

A few different things are going on in this picture:

  • rails.vim, which I mostly use passively for the contextual syntax highlighting.

  • WinManager, which sets up those side panes how I like them. It's been retooled a bit under the hood to circumvent some minor annoyances.

  • FileTree, which has been significantly modified to a) replace the File Explorer in WinManager, and b) to do things like easier directory unfolding, create and rename files, and many other tasks. Took some work to get it just so, but ah, it's quite something to fly around filesystems with your fingers.

  • BufExplorer, standard vim issue, listing all my open files in the bottom left box. I've made a few presentational tweaks to maximise information-per-pixel.

My console (non-gui) setup of vim is basically the same, with line numbers and WinManager off by default so I've got the full 80 characters to play with.

All those hacks on WinManager, FileTree and BufExplorer are just that, so I'm not putting them up here or elsewhere. But if you're really, unbearably in need of them, get in touch.

Update: here are the hacks. I assume you can figure out how to install them.

Joseph | 17 Jul 2007

Wed 18 Jul 2007, 10:26AM Rowan_boat

Yes please, I at least, would be interested in the tweaks.

Sun 29 Jul 2007, 7:31PM Eugene

Hi -- I too am interested in these tweaks, especially the integration of FileTree with WinManager.


Wed 26 Sep 2007, 12:27PM zzh

i have try to replace the FileExplorer in winManagerWindowLayout. but i failed. can you share your hack on WinManager, FileTree and BufExplorer?

my mail is

Wed 3 Oct 2007, 2:09PM Joseph

FYI, I'm responding to enquiries via email at the moment, so feel free to use this form or the contact form here.

Thu 8 Nov 2007, 4:34AM Fabricio

hello, i need your hacks scripts, please send me to

Sat 11 Oct 2008, 6:37PM j4s0n

Hey this is cool! can I? jason at

Mon 13 Oct 2008, 10:59AM Jason Ives

Hey there, I'd love it if you could share your hacks with me! Beautiful setup.

Mon 13 Oct 2008, 12:22PM Dave Bolton

Hi Joseph,

I'm interested in your setup -- I particularly like the BufExplorer look you've got going, and I'd like to try and integrate similarly with NERDTree (which I've just fallen in love with today). Perhaps you could send over the zip? My email is as filled in for this comment.

Thanks, Dave

Mon 15 Mar 2010, 3:16PM Taybin

Did anyone ever get this working with NERDTree? That'd be awesome.

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