Vim documentation: os_beos

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*os_beos.txt*	For Vim version 6.3.  Last change: 2004 May 01

		  VIM REFERENCE MANUAL    by Bram Moolenaar

							*BeOS* *BeBox*
This is a port of Vim 5.1 to the BeOS Preview Release 2 (also known as PR2)
or later.

This file contains the particularities for the BeBox/BeOS version of Vim.  For
matters not discussed in this file, Vim behaves very much like the Unix
|os_unix.txt| version.

 1. General			|beos-general|
 2. Compiling Vim		|beos-compiling|
 3. Timeout in the Terminal	|beos-timeout|
 4. Unicode vs. Latin1		|beos-unicode|
 5. The BeOS GUI		|beos-gui|
 6. The $VIM directory		|beos-vimdir|
 7. Drag & Drop			|beos-dragndrop|
 8. Single Launch vs. Multiple
    Launch			|beos-launch|
 9. Fonts			|beos-fonts|
10. The meta key modifier	|beos-meta|
11. Mouse key mappings		|beos-mouse|
12. Color names			|beos-colors|
13. Compiling with Perl		|beos-perl|

1. General						*beos-general*

The default syntax highlighting mostly works with different foreground colors
to highlight items. This works best if you set your Terminal window to a
darkish background and light letters. Some middle-grey background (for
instance (r,g,b)=(168,168,168)) with black letters also works nicely.  If you
use the default light background and dark letters, it may look better to
simply reverse the notion of foreground and background color settings. To do
this, add this to your .vimrc file (where <Esc> may need to be replaced with
the escape character):

  :if &term == "beos-ansi"
  :    set t_AB=<Esc>[3%dm
  :    set t_AF=<Esc>[4%dm

2. Compiling Vim					*beos-compiling*

From the Advanced Access Preview Release (AAPR) on, Vim can be configured with
the standard configure script. To get the compiler and its flags right, use
the following command-line in the shell (you can cut and paste it in one go):

    ./configure --prefix=/boot/home/config

$BE_C_COMPILER is usually "mwcc", $BE_DEFAULT_C_FLAGS is usually "-I- -I."

When configure has run, and you wish to enable GUI support, you must edit the file so that the lines with GUI_xxx refer to $(BEOSGUI_xxx) instead
of $(NONE_xxx).
Alternatively you can make this change in the Makefile; it will have a
more permanent effect. Search for "NONE_".

After compilation you need to add the resources to the binary. Add the
following few lines near the end (before the line with "exit $exit_value") of
the script to do this automatically.

    rmattr BEOS:TYPE vim
    copyres os_beos.rsrc vim
    mimeset vim

Also, create a dummy file "strip":

    mimeset $1
    exit 0

You will need it when using "make install" to install Vim.

Now type "make" to compile Vim, then "make install" to install it.

If you want to install Vim by hand, you must copy Vim to $HOME/config/bin, and
create a bunch of symlinks to it ({g,r,rg}{vim,ex,view}). Furthermore you must
copy Vims configuration files to $HOME/config/share/vim:
vim-5.0s/{*.vim,doc,syntax}.  For completeness, you should also copy the nroff
manual pages to $HOME/config/man/man1. Don't forget ctags/ctags and xxd/xxd!

Obviously, you need the unlimited linker to actually link Vim. See for purchasing the CodeWarrior compiler for BeOS.
There are currently no other linkers that can do the job.

This won't be able to include the Perl or Python interfaces even if
you have the appropriate files installed. |beos-perl|

3. Timeout in the Terminal				*beos-timeout*

Because some POSIX/UNIX features are still missing[1], there is no direct OS
support for read-with-timeout in the Terminal. This would meat that you cannot
use :mappings of more than one character, unless you also :set notimeout.

To circumvent this problem, I added a workaround to provide the necessary
input with timeout by using an extra thread which reads ahead one character.
As a side effect, it also makes Vim recognize when the Terminal window

Function keys are not supported in the Terminal since they produce very
indistinctive character sequences.

These problems do not exist in the GUI.

[1]: there is no select() on file descriptors; also the termios VMIN and VTIME
settings do not seem to work properly. This has been the case since DR7 at
least and still has not been fixed as of PR2.


4. Unicode vs. Latin1					*beos-utf8*

BeOS uses Unicode and UTF-8 for text strings (16-bit characters encoded to
8-bit characters). Vim assumes ISO-Latin1 or other 8-bit character codes.
This does not produce the desired results for non-ASCII characters. Try the
command :digraphs to see. If they look messed up, use :set isprint=@ to
(slightly) improve the display of ISO-Latin1 characters 128-255.  This works
better in the GUI, depending on which font you use (below).

You may also use the /boot/bin/xtou command to convert UTF-8 files from (xtou
-f iso1 filename) or to (xtou -t iso1 filename) ISO-Latin1 characters.

5. The BeOS GUI						*beos-gui*

Normally Vim starts with the GUI if you start it as gvim or vim -g.  The BeOS
version tries to determine if it was started from the Tracker instead of the
Terminal, and if so, use the GUI anyway. However, the current detection scheme
is fooled if you use the command "vim - </dev/null" or "vim filename &". The
latter can be called a feature but probably only works because there is no
BSD-style job control.

Stuff that does not work yet:

- Running external commands from the GUI does not work 100% (again due to lack
  of support for select()). There was a choice between seeing the command's
  output, or being able to interrupt it. I chose for seeing the output. Even
  now the command sometimes crashes mysteriously, apparently in Be's
  malloc_internal() called from the putenv() function, after fork()ing. (data
  access exception occurred, ec01b0ec:  90e80000 *stw r7, 0x0000 (r8))(:!ls
  works usually, :r !ls usually doesn't). This has been reported as bug
  # 971215-083826.
- The window title.
- Starting the GUI from the Terminal version with :gui always acts as if
  :gui -f were used. There is no way to fix this that I can see.
- There are some small display glitches here and there that I hope to clean up
  later. Most of them occur when the window is partially obscured. Some of
  them seem to be bugs in BeOS, because the Terminal has similar glitches.
- Mouse up events are not generated when outside the window. This is a bug in
  BeOS. You can notice this when selecting text and moving the cursor outside
  the window, then letting go of the mouse button.  Another way is when you
  drag the scrollbar and do the same thing.  Because Vim still thinks you are
  still playing with the scrollbar it won't change it itself. I provided a
  workaround which kicks in when the window is activated or deactivated (so it
  works best with focus- follows-mouse (/boot/bin/ffm) turned on).
- The cursor does not flash (very low priority; I'm not sure I even like it
  when it flashes)

The $VIM directory					*beos-vimdir*

$VIM is the symbolic name for the place where Vims support files are stored.
The default value for $VIM is set at compile time and can be determined with


The normal value is /boot/home/config/share/vim. If you don't like it you can
set the VIM environment variable to override this, or set 'helpfile' in your

  :if version >= 500
  :    set helpfile=~/vim/vim54/doc/help.txt
  :    syntax on

7. Drag & Drop						*beos-dragndrop*

You can drop files and directories on either the Vim icon (starts a new Vim
session, unless you use the File Types application to set Vim to be "Single
Launch") or on the Vim window (starts editing the files).  Dropping a folder
sets Vim's current working directory. |:cd| |:pwd| If you drop files or
folders with either SHIFT key pressed, Vim changes directory to the folder
that contains the first item dropped. When starting Vim, there is no need to
press shift: Vim behaves as if you do.

Files dropped set the current argument list. |argument-list|

8. Single Launch vs. Multiple Launch			*beos-launch*

As distributed Vim's Application Flags (as seen in the FileTypes preference)
are set to Multiple Launch. If you prefer, you can set them to Single Launch
instead.  Attempts to start a second copy of Vim will cause the first Vim to
open the files instead. This works from the Tracker but also from the command
line. In the latter case, non-file (option) arguments are not supported.

NB: Only the GUI version has a BApplication (and hence Application Flags).
This section does not apply to the GUI-less version, should you compile one.

9. Fonts						*beos-fonts*

Set fonts with

  :set guifont=Courier10_BT/Roman/10

where the first part is the font family, the second part the style, and the
third part the size. You can use underscores instead of spaces in family and

Best results are obtained with monospaced fonts (such as Courier). Vim
attempts to use all fonts in B_FIXED_SPACING mode but apparently this does not
work for proportional fonts (despite what the BeBook says).

Vim also tries to use the B_ISO8859_1 encoding, also known as ISO Latin 1.
This also does not work for all fonts. It does work for Courier, but not for
ProFontISOLatin1/Regular (strangely enough). You can verify this by giving the


command, which lists a bunch of characters with their ISO Latin 1 encoding.
If, for instance, there are "box" characters among them, or the last character
isn't a dotted-y, then for this font the encoding does not work.

If the font you specify is unavailable, you get the system fixed font.

Standard fixed-width system fonts are:


Standard proportional system fonts are:


Try some of them, just for fun.

10. The meta key modifier				*beos-meta*

The META key modifier is obtained by the left or right OPTION keys.  This is
because the ALT (aka COMMAND) keys are not passed to applications.

11. Mouse key mappings					*beos-mouse*

Vim calls the various mouse buttons LeftMouse, MiddleMouse and RightMouse.  If
you use the default Mouse preference settings these names indeed correspond to
reality. Vim uses this mapping:

    Button 1 -> LeftMouse,
    Button 2 -> RightMouse,
    Button 3 -> MiddleMouse.

If your mouse has fewer than 3 buttons you can provide your own mapping from
mouse clicks with modifier(s) to other mouse buttons. See the file
vim-5.x/macros/swapmous.vim for an example.		|gui-mouse-mapping|

12. Color names						*beos-colors*

Vim has a number of color names built-in. Additional names are read from the
file $VIMRUNTIME/rgb.txt, if present. This file is basically the color
database from X. Names used from this file are cached for efficiency.

13. Compiling with Perl					*beos-perl*

Compiling with Perl support enabled is slightly tricky. The Metrowerks
compiler has some strange ideas where to search for include files. Since
several include files with Perl have the same names as some Vim header
files, the wrong ones get included. To fix this, run the following Perl
script while in the vim-5.0/src directory: > perl.h

    #!/bin/env perl
    # Simple #include expander, just good enough for the Perl header files.

    use strict;
    use IO::File;
    use Config;

    sub doinclude
	my $filename = $_[0];
	my $fh = new IO::File($filename, "r");
	if (defined $fh) {
	    print "/* Start of $filename */\n";

	    while (<$fh>) {
		if (/^#include "(.*)"/) {
		    print "/* Back in $filename */\n";
		} else {
		    print $_;
	    print "/* End of $filename */\n";

	    undef $fh;
	} else {
	    print "/* Cannot open $filename */\n";
	    print "#include \"$filename\"\n";

    chdir     $Config{installarchlib}."/CORE";
    doinclude "perl.h";

It expands the "perl.h" header file, using only other Perl header files.

Now you can configure & make Vim with the --enable-perlinterp option.
Be warned though that this adds about 616 kilobytes to the size of Vim!
Without Perl, Vim with default features and GUI is about 575K, with Perl
it is about 1191K.

-Olaf Seibert

[Note: these addresses no longer work:]
<[email protected]>

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