Bug#839112: vim: please provide vim-legacy packages

James McCoy jamessan at debian.org
Thu Sep 29 03:17:13 UTC 2016

On Thu, Sep 29, 2016 at 12:50:26PM +1000, Russell Coker wrote:
> Version 7.4 of vim works well for me.  Version 8 breaks things in the following
> ways:
> 1) By default it doesn't accept system copy/paste operations. I can't copy text
> from one Xterm to vim in another because the paste operation is intercepted
> to become a vim paste. I like being able to use the "p" command for a vim
> paste and middle-click for when I want a system paste.

This is because the 'mouse' option is set to "a" by default now.  You
can hold shift when selecting with the mouse to tell xterm to handle the
mouse instead of Vim, or you can set 'mouse' back to an empty value.

> 2) Vim does automatic tab indentation. I don't want this as I do my own tabs
> as desired by the upstream of whatever project I'm working on. Vim not only
> does it's own tabs but fights me all the way when I try to change it.

This is due to ":filetype plugin indent on" being used by default now.
You can use ":filetype off" to disable that.

> 3) Vim not only makes changes by default it does it to existing systems when
> they are upgraded.

Upstream added a "defaults.vim" file (c.f., :help defaults.vim) which
enables more features for users that don't have an existing vimrc file.
Creating an empty ~/.vimrc file will disable the sourcing of this file.

> I would like vim to keep working the way it has worked for the last 10 years or
> so and the way other versions of vi worked before it. It seems to me that the
> best way to provide this is to have a vim-legacy package that has the old
> version.

None of this behavior is enforced, so there's no need to create a new
package.  The above information just needs to be advertised in the
NEWS.Debian file so users know what to expect and how to change the

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