[gvim: vim variant?]

raf macports at raf.org
Sat Mar 25 03:51:15 UTC 2023

On Fri, Mar 24, 2023 at 05:12:33PM +0000, Maxim Abalenkov <maxim.abalenkov at gmail.com> wrote:

> Dear all,
> How are you? I hope all is well with you. I need your help please. I
> mostly work in the terminal and use vim as my text editor. But
> occasionally I need a text editor with a graphical user interface. I
> have heard good things about ‘gvim’. Would you please tell me, how
> to install ‘gvim’ with MacPorts? Is it one of the ‘vim’ port’s
> variants? Executing
> port variants vim
> returns multiple options:
> * athena: Build GUI version using Athena widgets
> * gtk2: Build GUI version using GTK 2.x widgets
> * gtk3: Build GUI version using GTK 3.x widgets
> * motif: Build GUI version with Motif widgets
> Can you please tell me, how do they differ and which one would you
> recommend? Thank you for your help and have a good weekend ahead!
>> Best wishes,
> Maxim
> Maxim Abalenkov \\ maxim.abalenkov at gmail.com
> +44 7 486 486 505 \\ www.maxim.abalenkov.uk


I think that Vim has abandoned Athena widgets in favour
of Motif. They are very similar. Both look old compared
to gtk2/gtk3 but have the advantage that they respect
Xresources settings. This matters if you have
configured gvim with Xresources, for example to specify
a forced window size and location, rather than having
the window manager decide or force the user to manually
place windows every time.

So, if you want to have your gvim window appear in the
same location every time, choose motif. If not,
probably choose gtk3. I don't know anything about
differences between gtk2 and gtk3. However, all of
these require X11. If you don't want X11, there is
another choice: MacVim which is a port that uses a
macOS native GUI library. But that's not a good choice
if you use X11 in full screen mode.

I use an Athena (or sometimes Motif) gvim that I
compiled myself for use in full screen X11, and MacVim
for use in the macOS native desktop.


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