Vim screen corruption with screen/tmux and matchparen.vim

I’ve been experiencing an irritating bug for a few weeks and I finally eliminated it by disabling matchparen.vim

The bug happens when I’m using vim in an ssh session (to a Linux machine) with GNU Screen or tmux (on the server) in or on Mac OS X and editing PHP code. If I type “require dirname(__FILE__) .“, then after typing the closing parenthesis, the screen gets corrupted such that it looks like I typed “require dirnam((__FILE_))” (missing “e”). Hitting Control-L refreshes the screen of course, but it’s irritating nonetheless.

Yesterday, I got the bug to disappear by putting this in my ~/.vimrc.local (I’m using Janus):

" vim's parenthesis highlighting causes screen corruption when vim is running
" inside GNU screen or tmux?
let loaded_matchparen = 1

I don’t know if this is a bug in matchparen.vim or something else.

If I type slowly, it looks like after typing the closing parenthesis, both the opening and closing parenthesis are highlighted correctly. Things go haywire after typing a space after the closing parenthesis. It looks like it’s attempting to replace the highlighted open parenthesis with a normal parenthesis but it does it one cursor position to the left, resulting in the “e” in dirname getting overwritten with a parenthesis and the highlighted open parenthesis is still present next to it.

Here’s a screenshot:

If I understood more clearly what the problem is, then I’d try to fix it and submit a patch, but I’m not very knowledgable about terminal issues. If someone points me in the right direction, I might be able to come up with a patch…

I’ll be posting this to the vim_dev mailing list as well.

4 thoughts on “Vim screen corruption with screen/tmux and matchparen.vim

  1. OK, I played around a bit more and I’ve reduced this to the smallest
    possible case.

    The root of the problem appears to be that Janus sets listchars with a
    UTF-8 encoded Unicode character, namely U+00B7 or “MIDDLE DOT” which
    is encoded as “0xc2 0xb7” in UTF-8.

    marca@web01:/home/marca$ cat ~/.vimrc 
    set encoding=utf-8 
    set list listchars=tab:\ \ ,trail:· 
    marca@web01:/home/marca$ hexdump -C ~/.vimrc 
    00000000  73 65 74 20 65 6e 63 6f  64 69 6e 67 3d 75 74 66  |set 
    00000010  2d 38 0a 73 65 74 20 6c  69 73 74 20 6c 69 73 74  |-8.set 
    list list| 
    00000020  63 68 61 72 73 3d 74 61  62 3a 5c 20 5c 20 2c 74  |chars=tab: 
    \ \ ,t| 
    00000030  72 61 69 6c 3a c2 b7 0a                           |rail:...| 
    marca@web01:/home/marca$ python 
    >>> middle_dot = u'\xb7' 
    >>> print middle_dot.encode('utf-8') 
    >>> middle_dot.encode('utf-8') 

    My guess at this point would be that matchparen.vim has some code in
    it that is not multi-byte aware.

  2. Thank you for posting this! I’ve been having constant frustration with text corruption using tmux and vim for months, and it was my UTF-8 listchars that is apparently the trouble. I was getting to the point where I couldn’t trust anything outside of mvim when on my mac…much obliged!

  3. Hey Aaron,

    I’m glad to hear that it helped someone besides myself! Thanks for taking the time to write!


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