cga2000 wrote:
Very clear explanation. What I am worried about when doing this sort of
thing is that since I don't know the debian packaging system this may
have side-effects that will bite me at some point in the future. In
other words I do not understand the implications. Such as what happens
to my current vim 6.4 install? Obviously you would know how to handle
any problem that might crop up at some point in the future.. I wouldn't.

At the shell prompt (not from within Vim) type:

If the answer (or lack of one) shows that it is undefined (the normal case), then Vim 6.4 and Vim 7.0 can live peacefully together on your system and not make each other fall head over heels. You just may want to rename the Vim 6.4 in the $PATH (as shown by "ls -l `which vim` `which gvim`", using the one that isn't a link to the other) to something else (e.g. vim64) so it won't be overwritten (in /usr/local/bin or wherever) when you install Vim 7.0. Thereafter, "vim" or "gvim" (etc.) will invoke Vim 7.0 and use runtime files in $VIM/vim70 while "vim64" or "vim64 -g" (etc.) will invoke Vim 6.4 and use runtime files in $VIM/vim64. Both will use the same ~/.vimrc, ~/.gvimrc, ~/.vim/ and $VIM/vimfiles/ (if present: normally they aren't unless you create them) so if you use constructs there that are peculiar to Vim 7, you should wrap them in an ":if" statement such as "if version >= 700", "if exists('+tabline')", etc.

All this, of course, assuming that installing Vim 7.0 doesn't uninstall Vim 6.4. If the installer is "polite", it should either leave the Vim 6.4 installation alone or ask you if you want to keep it or kill it. If it isn't, the worse that should happen is that your Vim 6.4 gets (cleanly) uninstalled, leaving your ~/.vimrc (etc.) unchanged. After you install Vim 7.0, ":e $VIM" will show it to you: if there is a subdirectory "vim64", and it is nonempty, then the 6.4 installation wasn't removed.

Best regards,

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