Vim Can Suck

OS X is generally a wonderful operating system. Sure there are plenty of neckbeards out there that would love to punch me in the balls for the comment. On the opposite side of life, most designers would agree with me down to the fact that they demand that all the fiddly buttons are actually "lickable." Whatever that means. Several items both of these camps should be able to agree on is:

  1. Package management is hard on OS X
  2. and lots of Apple's built in "stuff" (you might call them apps but, you would be wrong in doing so) kinda blow.

I happen to be a very opinionated Vim user and over the past month have experienced...issues with the version of Vim compiled through the nice folks at Apple. Before we continue, there are some clerifications that are due. The Vim I am banging on about isn't MacVim or the Vim that is bundled within the /Contents section of the MacVim install.

My biggest beef stems from the fact that the version bundled with Lion, Snow Leopard, Leopard, Tiger, and probably all the way back to 10.1 are compiled without Ruby and Python support. This can cause several issues with popular plugins like Command-t and Gundo thereby rendering them useless when composing text. READ: they don't fucking work. Being a short bus ride away from Canada day - America, the 4th of July, I thought it appropriate to write a short "how-to" in order to save potentially-awesome folk from this issue.

Ok, one more thing I am opinionated about is: Homebrew. Seriously, if you use MacPorts, Fink, or whatever other piece of ancient package manager-shit, you have issues that will eventually equate to your downfall. In addition, I am not much of a fan of Homebrew's stance on not offering packages that "Duplicate functionality provided by OS X." Enter: brew taps.

To get this started we are going to assume you have Homebrew installed and every thing is up to date. Hop back into a terminal and type:

brew install mercurial

Yeah, I didn't like it either but so is life. Next:

brew tap homebrew/dupes

Agree to what it asks and make sure that your bashrc or zshrc file has this path near the top

export PATH="/usr/local/bin:$PATH"

Now we have Homebrew set up to install system duplicate packages. Before we set up Vim we need to switch back to the system compiled Ruby instead of what we have set in Rbenv or RVM. Once that is done, life is a snap:

brew install homebrew/dupes/vim

Theoretically brew install vim will function nicely however, it is always good to be explicit. If you would like to know some other packages that fall into the realm of "dupes", check out this Github repo. I have been using the Homebrew installed version all morning and by far it is faster and more stable than what comes with Lion...DAMN you OS X for being so brilliant and lacking at the same time!