Sven Guckes ©1995-2008

Latest change: Tue Sep 02 21:23:44 CEST 2008

Sven Guckes - Vim User - Setup Files for Vim

Welcome to my *personal* page on Vim.

Sven's Setup Files

Here are my personal setup files - vimrc, vimrc.forall, gvimrc:

My setup files are actually quite basic - with many abbreviations, and only a few mappings, hardly any autocommands, and almost no scripting.

When you strip away the comments then the vimrc.forall is reduced from 67KB to only 8KB. When you delete the mapping for keys of special keyboards and the if clauses for special operating systems, as well as the leading whitespace of lines then you get below 6KB. And when I delete all the hardly every used mappings then I am at 3.5KB. Finally, when setting multiple options on one line with only one "set" command save a little more - and the setup only has a size of 3KB.

My point: A setup file with only what you really need and without any explaining comments should well be below 10KB.

And what remains is my minimal setup for Vim:

I hardly ever use the graphical version of vim - but here is my minimal gvimrc:

Extended Vi Cup


    Sven and Vim - The Story

    In 1989 I got to know the "Internet" and soon I was sending mails with "elm" - and editing them with "vi". I had tried emacs as an editor, too - but it usually took from 10 seconds to 42 seconds to start up - and that was too long for me. So I never really got the hang of emacs because I am probably too impatient.

    In 1992 someone deleted my setup for the university PC which added a Unixish setup. Windows3.1 was a drag - and when I looked at a Mac IIci I fell in love. So some time later I bought a Mac IIvx. But it did not have an editor like "vi".

    In 1994 someone pointed me at Vim - and it was much better than Vi. "Finally someone is improving vi", I thought. So I thought it worthwhile to support Vim - especially because I wanted a Vi for my Mac IIvx (for writing my diploma with LaTeX).

    So I created some webpages and answered a lot of posts about vi and vim on the newsgroup comp.editors. Those webpages then became the homepage of vim - and on 1997-09-15 I finally registered The pages on were merely a nightly copy of my webpages at

    MacVim-3 had some silly bugs, and Vim-4 was unfortnately never ported to Macintosh. I needed syntax coloring badly for LaTeX, so I waited until Vim-5 was released. Hoever, I had to wait some more until MacVim-5.6 was finally released...

    In the meantime, Linux took off. Fast. Cool. I started using Linux and my Mac started catching dust in the corner.

    In summer of 1994 I met a girl and she was writing her thesis. (long story here) She finally used Vim to write it. Actually, she helped editing three other works on mathematics using Vim.

    In 1998 we helped publishing a book which was set in LaTeX - all using Vim as the editor.

    There once was a time when I hoped that Vim would ship with every system out there. In between I thought that Vim should not be ported to Windows. Why give a bad system such a good tool for free when it would only make people use it longer rather than switching to one of the better systems? So the port to Windows would only prolong its death.

    That said, I had been using Gvim on Windows for a while - but usually for testing it, and for lack of a good text file viewer. I had been editing some files with Gvim, but simply because the machine at university was mounting my home directory. But it was all a hassle which took too much time. So I simply installed an ssh client (TeraTerm at the time) and logged in to the SunOS machines then.

    Then the year 2000 came - and Vim survived without a Y2K bug. (yay! :-) The author and the developers were adding support for "multibyte", "unicode", and "folding" into Vim-6.

    I then asked OReilly (in Germany) whether they want to update their book on Vi with info on Vim - but they declined because they "did not see a market for it".

    Steve Oualline then wrote a book on Vim for NewRiders - and a very good one, too. A job well done. And they also issued almost the complete book as a PDF (link) within only 3.7MB - including "screenshots" and the photos before each chapter - incredible!

    Later on OReilly updated its Vi book with a chapter on the Vi clones elvis, nvi, - and vim. I got to read through the whole thing before it got published - which was nice.


    So today (2008) I use Vim mainly on Linux - Debian on the server and Ubuntu on my laptop.

    I hardly ever make use of the graphical user interface (I am much quicker using the keyboard). The internal autcommands are nice, and I make use of them a little. But I'd rather be using an internal language like Lisp. .. just kidding. ;-)

    Bram created his own language for Vim. I am sure that he knew very well what he needed for Vim. However, I still keep looking at languages like LUA and s-lang - and i find it ind of sad they were not chosen for this because they have a big community and there are books on it, too.

    Then again, if you want to find out the use of s-lang with an editor - it's been done: The Emacs-like editor jed is using it becuse its author, John E. Davis, created both.


    Vim Home Page

    Seven habits of effective text editing by Bram Moolenaar [November 2000]
    1. Move around quickly
    2. Don't type it twice
    3. Fix it when it's wrong
    4. A file seldom comes alone
    5. Let's work together
    6. Text is structured
    7. Make it a habit

    Graphical vi-vim Cheat Sheet and Tutorial

    vi lernen -- die "Spickzettel"-Methode [2005-07-21, Rev. 1.1.7] von by Daniel Robbins + Eric Stockbridge (Authors), Benny Chuang (Editing), and Lars Weiler (Translation to German)

    Vim Schnellübersicht
    2005 by Laurent GRÉGOIRE ( Translated from English by Fritz Mehner
    Home Site:

    The Vi Lover's Homepage

    "Learning the vi Editor" [6th edition]

    Erste Schritte mit dem vim

    VIM Cheatmap beta von Arne Wichmann (2007-11-21)

    Vi Kurzeinfuehrung von Annette Helmold [TUHH]

    People's Personal Pages

    Sven Guckes (this page)

    Michael Prokop

    Christian Habermann

    Books + Literature

    [vim ge-packt]
  • vim GE-PACKT
  • Autor: Reinhard Wobst
  • Mitp-Verlag, April 2004; Paperback 363 Seiten
  • ISBN: 3826614259

  • Newsgroups on Usenet

        de.comp.editoren LANG=de_DE
        comp.editors  LANG=en_EN