I read the wiki entry on vim source code indentation
I still can't understand the difference between
It seems they do the same thing, copy the indentation level to next line when you press
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autoindent essentially tells vim to apply the indentation of the current line to the next (created by pressing enter in insert mode or with O or o in normal mode.
smartindent reacts to the syntax/style of the code you are editing (especially for C). When having it on you also should have
:help autoindent also mentions two alternative settings:
indentexpr, both of which make vim ignore the value of