[Techtalk] Vim, mutt, and terminals

Telsa Gwynne hobbit at aloss.ukuu.org.uk
Mon Oct 1 21:03:06 EST 2001

On Mon, Oct 01, 2001 at 03:00:28PM -0400 or thereabouts, Raven, corporate 
> courtesan wrote:
> Heya --
> 	Not *strictly* Linux, but it is a Unix question, so I'm hoping 
> against hope that this is something that they have in common.  [grin]  
> Fairly recently, I had to reinstall a server of mine.  It used to be 
> Mandrake 7.1, and now it's FreeBSD 4.3.  I use Mutt as my mail client, 
> with vim as the editor.  Some of my correspondents have complained that 
> my mail is now comprised of really, really long lines, and they have 
> to scroll right endlessly in order to read what I'm sending them.

...and spend a while reformatting in a reply, yes. They're right. 
All of that from "Not strictly" was one line. Ugh :) 

> 	While I recognize that indeed, I am typing in really long lines, 
> I would think that a decent mail client would be able to insert newlines 
> at the appropriate places.  After all, I haven't had to deliberately 
> press "Return" at the end of every line since I stopped using 
> typewriters.  It seems to be happening for people using Outlook, mostly.

That's not how mutt thinks. Mutt is terribly Unixy, in that it hands
off any possible job to other programs. Mutt displays emails via a 
pager. You can set that pager in your .muttrc to be 'more', 'mess', 
or mutt's internal one. It's up to the pager how it displays stuff. 
Not mutt. Mutt drops you into an editor for sending and replying. 
And it's the editor which does the editing. Mutt has no conception 
of how long your line lengths should be. It just starts the editor, 
and understands that the finished edited file is what it should send.

Also, I don't think anyone has actually declared RFC 1855 outdated,
and it does say "please hit the return key" somewhere in there :)
I don't think everyone would go for 65 characters, but 72 is commob.

Sven Guckes' mutt and vimrc page has this on it:

     	set editor=vim
 You  can  supply some settings by starting vim with the "-c" option to
 specify some commands. Example: Set the textwidth explicitly to "72":
     	set editor="vim -c 'set tw=72'"

> 	Since the behaviour has changed since I moved this server over to 
> BSD, there must be something that I can change on my end to get it to 
> display properly again.  My .muttrc is exactly the same as it was on the 
> old server.  Here's my .vimrc:

Can't help with .vimrcs, I'm afraid. Still learning :)

> 	Also, Mandrake had some sort of terminal settings where when you 
> did an ls, anything with the executable bit set showed up in blue, 
> regular files showed up in green, symlinks in yellow, etc.  Anyone 
> know how that was done?

Using the LS_COLORS variable that ls (regrettably) understands, I
suspect. That is present in the 'ls' provided by GNU fileutils. I 
do not think BSD uses GNU packages for the majority of its 
programs. So you may be out of luck there.

I would personally consider this an excellent inducement to switch
to BSD. dircolors drives me crackers. 


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