Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Still no column level folding in VIM.

I used to think that VIM was right there on the 'cutting edge' of new editing concepts. I remember encountering Origami (the original project is dead I guess, can't find a good link) while I was in college. It have this novel idea of 'folding' lines so that you could hide large sections of a file. I thought, interesting. Not long after that feature was incorporated into VIM (no I'm not going to look up version numbers and embarrass/age myself!). A few years ago I had heard that someone had written a patch for VIM that enabled horizontal folding to offer similar advantages to the line level folding: simplification. I didn't think much of it, but stashed it away...confidant that *someday* it'd be part of VIM (if it were useful).

Well. Its been several years, and I just realized that Intelli has incorporated it into their own editor, and it is useful. Screenshot:

See the little <->? That's folding along the horizontal line. If you have the 'vi' plugin in Intellij it even acts like a fold: type 'zo' to open it. You get a lot longer string (sorry I'd type it out but blogger's editor doesn't like <> in that particular combination). I couldn't say I saw a use for horizontal folding before...but I do now! So much more readable with folding. I want it in VIM!

Note: I've been using the AnsiEsc.vim plugin for a little while, and I didn't even realize that it'd been specifically written to take advantage of Vince Negri's patch. Shame on me. One more reason to compile MacVim.


Anonymous said...

Conceal has been included in vim 7.3. You might want to publish an update to this post..

DeeSumm said...

Thanks for the update, I'll check it out and write up a post!