Please, oh Vim gurus, explain this binary/noeol situation. It seems to
me that if I open a text file in e.g. metapad or Edit Plus or any of
these other very simple Windows-based text editors, I am able to delete
the "final line break," which appears on screen as though there is a
zero-length line right after the last line of text. I press
that empty line and it is gone; so is the EOL.
In order to achieve this in Vim, I must perform strange acrobatics
including turning on "binary," which clobbers my textwidth, wrapmargin,
expandtab, and modeline options, and forces unix-like line separators.
My only guess is that Vim follows certain established rules for the
formatting of proper text files, but I have run across situations where
I need to edit text files (AS text files) that have no final EOL,
pains me that Vim makes this harder than such functionally limited
editors as Edit Plus.
Is there some Better Way?
I've heard people argue that a newline character separates lines, thus
it's not needed or even desired after the last line. That's the
theoretical approach. In practice a text file that doesn't have a
newline at the end is most probably truncated. Thus it's more practical
to see the newline character as a marker for the end of the line. This
has been so for ages on Unix and there is no good reason to do
Then it's no surprise that Windows text editors follow the "theoretical"
and probably broken approach, while the Unix ones do things the way
they've always been done.