Working with mapped network drives in VIM? Me too! I always wondered why go through all this pain?
Because of this, I resorted to Sublime Text for this type of work, as it is very fast in most situations, but I still dreaded the fact that I could not use Vim, as there have been some situations where I would have been much more productive and would have gotten to the bottom of the task way quicker if I could have used Vim instead of ST3.
Don’t get me wrong, I find Sublime Text awesome and really fast, and yes, I am aware of its Vintage Mode, but that just doesn’t cut it for me. I can fake Vim in Sublime, but as far as I know, ST3’s Vintage doesn’t allow you to create custom commands/mappings, the way you do in Vim, for example.

Back on track with the Vim part, I have been living with this pain for quite some time, until 3 days ago when I realised that I wasn’t able to see the trees because of the forest. I thought about all possible solutions, scp being the most reliable of them all.
To clarify, I had no problem creating a bash function that would use scp to upload everything to the remote server, which I actually did it. The only problem was that it would re-upload all the files and I didn’t want that. Knowing this, I would rely on a trick I presented in Short tip: viewing and resolving svn conflicts in the terminal, namely, I would take the filenames from svn status, and upload them one by one — talk about thinking like a programmer. The result is in the snippet below.

function scpsync() {
    local changed_files=$(svn status | awk '{print $2}')
    echo "Syncing $changed_files\n"
    for file in $changed_files; do
        scp $file [email protected]$1:/$2/$file
    done
    echo "Sync done\n"
}

Now, everything looked fine but I started hating it when I read the code out loud. I had a function that would upload all my SVN modified files…every damn time! This meant that if I would commit once a day(SVN users know what I’m talking about), I would upload every modified file, every time, even if I only changed the code ONCE, for some files.
This is the part where the over-engineer in me felt like a million bucks. I have created something that repeats a task even when it is not needed. Although it was ugly as hell, it was useful to me so I had to brag about it, but there was still a little voice in the back of my head, telling me that I once used a tool that would sync with the server through ssh, in a flawless manner.
That’s why I went to my co-worker Alex Pica, as he has the eye of a critic and will argue with me over anything. After letting me brag about my absolutely marvellous function, he went something along the lines of: “Well, why don’t you use rsync?”.
At that moment I had the epiphany! That was the tool that I used in the past and does all the neat stuff I told you before, and more.
I’m writing this article to both share the solution with the Vim users going through the same pain I went to, and to thank Alex for being a walking encyclopedia.
The solution is outlined below, and it can be used directly from within Vim by issuing the following command in the Vim command line — :!syncremote . [email protected]:/remote/path

syncremote () {
  rsync -WavP --human-readable --progress $1 $2
}

Cheers, and happy hacking!

Image credits: Me