We look at some tools that can help take the pain out of managing plugins.

The Vim text editor [1] is one of the most popular pieces of free software ever written. Since its first release in 1991, Vim has become available for all major operating systems. It is installed by default on most Linux distributions, and, in the 2016 LinuxQuestions Reader Choice Awards, outpolled its long-time rival Emacs by more than three to one – being the first choice of more than 30 percent of responders [2]. Much of this popularity is due to the degree of customization created by its plugins – almost 1,600, according to the VimAwesome site [3], and even that number may be low.

Most users, of course, use fewer than a dozen Vim plugins. However, even that number can be difficult to delete, although that is probably unnecessary with a recent version of Vim. The truth is, Vim’s original design was not intended for plugins.

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