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Setting up Vim for Moodle Development

There are many powerful features available in vim, here are a few tips to ensure you get powerful use out of vim with moodle development

Indentation

Moodle Coding Guidelines state that indentation should be spaces of 4 spaces (not Tabs). Some .vimrc options will help you adhere to these guidelines with ease:

" insert space characters whenever the tab key is presse
set expandtab

" insert 4 spaces characters when tab key is pressed
set tabstop=4

" insert 4 spaces wen autoindent indents
set shiftwidth=4

" automatically indent files
set autoindent

" Do smart indentation depending on code syntax (e.g. change after { }, keywords etc)
set smartindent

Syntax Highlighting

Recent versions of vim have robust syntax highlighting for php. In order to switch syntax highlighting on add the following to your .vimrc:

" set syntax highlighting on
syntax on

Other Useful vimrc settings

" show a ruler with line number, % through file on status line
set ruler
" show line number
set nu
" PHP syntax check
set makeprg=php\ -l\ %
set errorformat=%m\ in\ %f\ on\ line\ %l

During development, you will probably often find yourself typing print_object($foo) and die(). The following lines is vimrc create a keystroke to make this faster

" F5 put a Moodle debugging msg
map <F5> oprint_object(); die(); // DONOTCOMMIT<Esc>23hi

File encoding and decoding

set fileencodings=ucs-bom,utf-8,gbk,big5,latin1
set termencoding=utf-8,gbk
if has ('multi_byte') && v:version > 601
  if v:lang =~? '^\(zh\)\|\(ja\)\|\(ko\)'
    set ambiwidth=double
  endif
endif

Status Line

set statusline=%<%f\ %h%m%r%=%k[%{(&fenc==\"\")?&enc:&fenc}%{(&bomb?\",BOM\":\"\")}]\ %-14.(%l,%c%V%)\ %P

Ctags

See the Ctags Article for details on how to setup ctags usage with moodle and vim