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It's described in :h startup/§:h load-plugins. You'll see that indeed plugin files are loaded only once. Yet, most plugin files have guards. They mainly serve to permit end-user to not load an installed plugin file. This was particularly useful in the old days when we didn't have 'runtimepath' managers (aka plugin managers), nor vim 8 packages, or when ...


2

To just add a bit more to this, take a look at :help expression-syntax specifically expr9 which shows you can use &option to evaluate the option to its numerical value. In Vimscript, 0 is false and non-zero is true. With that said, cp is an abbreviation of compatible and that means the if condition is checking the numeric value of the boolean compatible ...


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