Yet Another Neovim Setup Article

Clay Ratliff
8 min readNov 14, 2023
Photo by Ilya Pavlov on Unsplash

Why do we need to keep revisiting this?

The short answer is we don’t.

The long answer is a bit more personal. While I don’t work as a developer anymore, I do still have to work with code occasionally, and I still, for whatever reason, enjoy tinkering with my tools. I find that talking about and tinkering with CLI tools is a lot of fun, and one of my favorite tools is Neovim. Every now and then I’ll re-evaluate my setup and try to improve on my previous config by setting up a new one from scratch, keeping what I felt worked well in the previous setup, and adding new things that I think will either improve on tools I already use or which will streamline a workflow that I didn’t previously have. And yes, believe it or not, as your career advances your workflow will also continue to change. Yet another reason occasional re-evaluation is a good thing.

To potentially save people some time, I want to mention that this article is not intended for people new to Vim or NeoVim. I assume that you have some previous knowledge of vim/vim and either have experience with Lua or, at the least, no aversion to it.

Neovim vs Vim

I wanted to get this out of the way real quick because there will probably be some confusion if you’re not familiar with the history. Neovim is a fork of Vim that has several notable improvements. The core functionality is compatible with Vim, e.g., if you aliased a bare version of vim with a bare version nvim, a user opening the editor would never realize they were using NeoVim.

The notable improvements mentioned above are based on aggressive refactoring giving the following benefits:

  • Overall performance improvements
  • Using the XDG Base Directory standard for configuration instead of hardcoded directories
  • A more sophisticated plugin API that allows the use of RPC calls and Lua for plugin creation and scripting (Vimscript v1 is also supported)
  • Native support of LSP
  • Support for asynchronous I/O

I switched between the two editors without much thought for years but decided to finally commit to Nvim in June of 2022 when the decision was made to essentially…



Clay Ratliff

Looking for our dreams in the second half of our lives as a novice sailors as we learn to live on our floating home SV Fearless