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Here's some background. I have a course where I need to do most of my programming on a Unix based machine. This post has nothing to do specifically with the course, but it's that course that lead me to these questions.
What I need is simple - an environment where I can code, debug, and run my application. What I want is some degree of convenience when I work. What would be nice to have is some extra functionality and features, like code completion, etc.
What I get is putty, csh, and vim. What I get is ^[^[^[, weird newlines come out from nowhere, and 'beeps'. What I get is a complete 'blindness' of my current state, until I punch 'pwd' or 'ls -l'... every time, every single time I change directories or need to edit or copy a file.
And the only question I could think of after 2 hours of searching the web and reading, as they say, 'the fcuking manual' is WHY?
Why do I need to waste my time; I repeat - MY TIME, to do something so simple and mundane. Why do I need to undergo a 'cultural shock' every time I am given an account on another unix/linux based machine. Why?
This is really one of those times when a person is stripped of his possessions, rights, dignity and sanity. And there are two ways out of it - fight to survive, or become insane.
How do I set up my environment (I don't care which shell, or what 'advanced' features it has) such that I could use the same setup on any unix-based system and that it would give consistent results across all systems and application.
For example, the basics: backspace, del, arrows, up/down-history, file name completion, pwd showing in the prompt line - work as it should, in shell, vim, or via screen.
The more advanced options: easy and intuitive copy-paste capability - again consistent everywhere.
Set-up for vim to do syntax-highlighting for most common languages: C++, C, Java, Perl, etc...
And here's the tricky part - can this be done without wasting a lot of time, and without 'learning' the manuals?
Well.. you're right about frustrated. You're wrong about 'newbie' (we can discuss the 'mindless' later); at least according to my definition of a newbie.
The difference between us, I guess, is that you would be considering someone an expert if this guy read all the manuals and highly customized his environment. I prefer to invest my energy and time into the actual work, rather than the means to do it.
I am not a vim expert, but your .vimrc file is surely transferrable from one system to another. Lines in that file should automate all the things you mention here. If you don't want to study the manuals (foolish, lazy?), you could probably find someone here to answer specific questions.
I realize that this is how things are done. All I ask for is a one good configuration, which I could use without reading manuals or spending time, and it would work intuitively and easy with all *nix-based systems. If such a thing exists, believe me I would cherish it for a long time.
In other words, I need a default solution, which would provide some convenience when I am working.