in software, vim

[edit: You can find a really nice summary of airline on vimawesome]

It is quite a pain to have some nice status line with vim.
For this, until now, I was using the powerline module, that was cool, but has major drawbacks.

Fonts replacement

You need to patch or replace your default system fonts to be able to see the nice little “icons” in that status line.
You can do this by replacing your default font, or patch it with powerline-fonts.
And if you connect remotely, your local system also needs to be patched ortherwise you’ll get some horrible results.

Really slow

Its slowness is due to the fact that each time you load it, it will load/create an instance of python (so it requires vim7.4+ wiht python support compiled in!).

The replacement: vim-airline

I found about vim-airline in the README on the github of vim-powerline.

It is easy to install, does not require a patch of your system fonts, and allows you to use unicode for the status bar which is, visually, nearly like the powerline version.

It supports a lot of extensions, especially one that I didn’t know, vim-bufferline, for example. It shows the name of the file corresponding to the buffer you have in the statusbar (can also be shown on the command line).

So to install it, it’s quite straightforward, especially if you use NeoBundle or Vundle. Just add a Bundle 'bling/vim-airline' in your .vimrc file, and run :BundleInstall to update you repository.

To make it even nicer, even if you haven’t installed the powerline font patches, you can add the following to your .vimrc:

if !exists(‘g:airlinesymbols’)
let g:airline
symbols = {}
let g:airlineleftsep = ‘»’
let g:airlineleftsep = ‘?’
let g:airlinerightsep = ‘«’
let g:airlinerightsep = ‘?’
let g:airlinesymbols.linenr = ‘?’
let g:airline
symbols.linenr = ‘?’
let g:airlinesymbols.linenr = ‘¶’
let g:airline
symbols.branch = ‘? ‘
let g:airlinesymbols.paste = ‘?’
let g:airline
symbols.paste = ‘Þ’
let g:airlinesymbols.paste = ‘?’
let g:airline
symbols.whitespace = ‘?’