Chicken or Egg dilemma

gmarik 2 min

Chicken or Egg dilemma is known from the ancient days.

In case of Vundle the dilemma manifests itself as a bunch of errors during bundles installation in certain conditions.


It’s pretty common to have settings that are plugin dependant. For instance, lets have statusline to display current git branch, ie:

set statusline=+'%<\ %f\ %{fugitive#statusline()}'

which requires fugitive bundle auto-loadable when status line is displayed.

Having such dependency means that each time Vim runs without fugitive - causes errors! And it happens at least once - the very first time you try to install plugins.

This isn’t good.


The first thing that comes up on mind is to conditionally require dependants. But that’s not a clean solution as it involves bunch of ifs, which is a code smell in this case.

Instead, it’s recommended to split .vimrc and have [Vundle] configuration in separate file, ie:

" .vimrc

" Vundle and bundles configuration
source bundles.vim

" my configuration which depends on bundles
set statusline=+'%<\ %f\ %{fugitive#statusline()}'

and bundles.vim:

set nocompatible               " be iMproved
filetype off                   " required!

set rtp+=~/.vim/bundle/vundle/
call vundle#rc()

Bundle 'gmarik/vundle'
Bundle 'tpope/vim-fugitive'

" of bundles

filetype plugin indent on     " required!

That doesn’t solve our problem yet though.

What makes all the difference is the way you install bundles for the first time, like this:

$ vim -u bundles.vim +BundleInstall +qall

makes Vim use bundles.vim as its configuration file, run BundleInstall and quit afterwards.

Having plugins installed makes Vim run smoothly without any errors.


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