vim/gvim teething issues

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http://ubuntuforums.org – I am trying to make the change from long-time gedit user to vim, er gvim and having some teething problems I hope are just that. two of the great things about gedit I find indispensable is the snippets and ext tools plugins. Discovered UltiSnips plugin for vim and it is ok, far from ideal. I can't seem to enter snippets without preceding them with a space first, even though the previous character is generally a <> bracket. Are there any snippet managers available that work more like gedit's, that allow a snippet to tab forward immediately after a > bracket? gedit's ext tools is grea (Hardware)