[gvim: vim variant?]

Richard L. Hamilton rlhamil at smart.net
Sun Mar 26 01:04:58 UTC 2023

raf, the first person to respond, said:
> 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.

MacVim is a separate port from vim. MacVim has a native Mac GUI with its own limited settings in the usual preference menu item under the menu bar MacVim menu.

The vim port works both in text mode in Terminal (or iTerm or xterm or similar) AND optionally graphically with one of various X11 based toolkits.

X11 based use of vim is entirely different from a native Mac GUI, and requires an X11 server (Xquartz or the MacPorts xorg-server port, unless you're displaying somewhere other than on a Mac) (as well as various build or runtime prerequisites).

In cases where one works in a mixed environment with other mostly non-Mac systems (like Linux or FreeBSD or whatever), that can be useful because X11 can display an individual app running on another system "back" to your desktop (a bit like that can be done on Windows using RDP with a special setup), from which it can be controlled. Versions of vim that use X11 libraries that use X resources are interesting because X resources are loaded into the X11 server, and do not depend on a shared home directory to access configuration files where the preferences are stored; rather, the application (client) program regardless of whether it is running locally or remotely, can simply query for them.

> On Mar 25, 2023, at 20:12, Peter West via macports-users <macports-users at lists.macports.org> wrote:
> Has MacVim been mentioned?
>> Peter West
> pbw at pbw.id.au <mailto:pbw at pbw.id.au>“Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”
>> On 26 Mar 2023, at 10:01 am, raf via macports-users <macports-users at lists.macports.org <mailto:macports-users at lists.macports.org>> wrote:
>> On Sat, Mar 25, 2023 at 12:36:05AM -0400, "Richard L. Hamilton" <rlhamil at smart.net <mailto:rlhamil at smart.net>> wrote:
>>> As an aside, perhaps the best example of using X resources to good
>>> effect to allow a user to adjust a program's behavior and appearance
>>> might be the xephem program (there's a port for that!), which uses
>>> Motif, and has GUI settings that effectively change X resources, which
>>> it can then save for subsequent runs.
>>> Otherwise one would end up editing an .Xdefaults file by hand, putting
>>> in mysterious incantations mostly by luck, unless one had studied the
>>> source (or built libXt and libXaw (Athena Widgets) or libXm (Motif)
>>> with editres support, so one could explore the resources and change
>>> them on the fly).
>>> Properly compiled and with LD_PRELOAD pointing to the resulting .so
>>> or .dylib, the following may add editres suport on the fly to a Motif
>>> program. Last I checked, it worked on Solaris, and I think I've used
>>> it on macOS, but I haven't tried that in a long time; and right now I
>>> don't think I have a copy of gvim built to use Motif. (I almost forgot
>>> I had this, so I'm not particularly prepared to answer questions about
>>> it.)
>> Ideally, it shouldn't be too mysterious. I remember seeing
>> Xresources details in manual entries, but looking at gvim's
>> manual entry, I don't see any Xresources specifications. :-(
>> It must be unfashionable.
>> The editres program seems to be a graphical Xresources editor
>> that lets you explore the resources of a running program.
>> But it looks very cumbersome. I'd prefer documentation and
>> manual editing, but you can't always get what you want. :-)
>> cheers,
>> raf

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