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# VIM and tabs and simplicity

I use vim at work for all of my coding. I recently tried to abandon NERDtree in favor of CtrlP, coaxed by a co-worker who did the same. This is an abandonment of a directory tree to find my files in favor of using fuzzy search to find the filename. After I made this switch, I felt like I needed tabs. They didn't seem necessary when I had a directory tree there, but now I feel like I need the tabs so I can switch back for forth between files more easily. I guess I didn't mind clicking multiple times, but I mind typing file names multiple times.

I also program mostly in grails these days, developing a web application that monitors some of our services. In grails, filenames are named in a very specific way so repeat file names are not common. Therefore, the default tab name in vim, whose path is cleverly compressed, is still too verbose for me. E.g.:

[code lang="plain"]
" Tab formatting
" http://vimdoc.sourceforge.net/htmldoc/tabpage.html#setting-tabline
function MyTabLabel(n)
let buflist = tabpagebuflist(a:n)
let winnr = tabpagewinnr(a:n)
let file = bufname(buflist[winnr - 1])
return fnamemodify(file, ':p:t')
endfunction

function MyTabLine()
let s = ''
for i in range(tabpagenr('')) " select the highlighting if i + 1 == tabpagenr() let s .= '%#TabLineSel#' else let s .= '%#TabLine#' endif " set the tab page number (for mouse clicks) let s .= '%' . (i + 1) . 'T' " the label is made by MyTabLabel() let s .= ' %{MyTabLabel(' . (i + 1) . ')} ' endfor " after the last tab fill with TabLineFill and reset tab page nr let s .= '%#TabLineFill#%T' " right-align the label to close the current tab page if tabpagenr('') > 1
let s .= '%=%#TabLine#%999Xclose'
endif

return s
endfunction

:set tabline=%!MyTabLine()
[/code]

I found most of that in the docs, but this line I wrote to just pull the base filename:

[code lang="php"]
let file = bufname(buflist[winnr - 1])
return fnamemodify(file, ':p:t')
[/code]

I wish there were a simpler solution, but for now this works.