thoughts on vim modelines

Brad Bishop bradleyb at
Wed Feb 19 06:31:41 AEDT 2020

Hello everyone.  I recently put up a patch that removes the vim modelines from the yaml files in phosphor-dbus-interfaces.  I wanted to quickly describe my rationale for doing that.

As the maintainer of phosphor-dbus-interfaces I want to provide a neutral developer and contributor experience that is not preferential to any specific usage pattern, workflow, tool, or in this case, text editor.

It is my opinion that this mode of thinking can only foster additional goodwill and engagement and it is further my opinion that if one fails to subscribe to this mode of thinking, that will drive potential collaborators elsewhere (e.g. a fork).  So if you are a project maintainer - I encourage you to subscribe to this type of thinking as well.

If anyone has the time to kick off a “best practices for maintainers” document I think that would be very welcome and valued contribution to the OpenBMC community.

A final thought - I have long been an advocate of maintainer discretion.  A natural reaction to the above might be that we should adopt a global OpenBMC policy of "no vim modelines."  I have no desire to do adopt any such overreaching mandates - I would prefer instead to let “natural selection” weed out projects with maintainers that stray too far from norms.

thx - brad

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