Hiding vi/vim leftovers in OSX

I love my tricked-out MacVim editor. A friend keeps trying to get me to convert to using NetBeans and, while it's an impressive product, I keep coming back to my trusty and blisteringly fast combo of MacVim (with a shedload of plugins), a narrow tree-view Finder window so I can drag files into the editor, and a tabbed iTerm window for running tests, servers and executing commands.

One thing that really irritates me though is the xxxx~ files that vi/vim leaves lying around. When you edit and save file 'foo.txt', you end up an extra file 'foo.txt~' cluttering up your Finder. If the Finder window is too narrow to display the end of the filename, you have to be careful not to start editing the ~ file by mistake.

But, I've finally found a way to make those files disappear (temporarily) from Finder windows. If you've installed the developer tools on OS X, then you have the SetFile utility, which lets you set the Mac-specific (well, HFS-specific, if you want to be picky) file attributes. To make a file invisible;

SetFile -a V some/file/name
(Replacing V with v will make it visible again).

So, a little alias line in your .bashrc file;
alias hidejunk="find . -name '*~' | xargs SetFile -a V"
Now, typing hidejunk on the command-line will tidy up your Finder windows.

Unfortunately, the file becomes visible again when vim recreates it, but it would be simple enough to use cron or stakeout to re-run the SetFile command.