I like the ability to show trailing whitespaces, so I have this setting.
set list listchars=tab:\ \ ,trail:·
I never use tabs (although I don't think tabs are bad, it's just a convention), but sometimes I'm reading someone else code and they use tabs. I don't want to see tabs as some special characters in that cases.
But with the settings above vim would show tabs with different background colour. I don't want this. Can it just show trailing whitespaces and leave everything else alone?