Tuesday, July 22, 2008

The vertical climb to VIM

A good friend of mine posted an article that finally inspired me to learn another editor (even though I was, and still am, quite happy with TextMate).

What resulted was a direct vertical climb up the the learning curve of VIM:

And, painful it was! There were times when I felt obligated to keep using it, even though I longed for the simpicity of TextEdit or TextMate. Why did I do it? Well, when I learned how to chain commands together I was addicted! And then there was finding out that VIM does all the things I’ve wanted an editor to do for a long time.

A few of the features I love:

  • Ability to chain commands together (d3w, di”, c/Word, g~e etc)
  • Visual block mode
  • VIM plugins
  • Complete from words in doc
  • Lots of navigation keys to get you precisely where you want to be in less than 3 key strokes
  • VIM follows me everywhere – Desktop, terminal, linux, unix, windows, OS X)
  • Multiple registers (clipboards)
  • Macros
  • The ”.” key (repeat last edit)
  • Many more

I now really fancy this old-timer VIM, and as my friend described, I can shovel around text by the shovel-full. It’s an amazing feeling! I still feel all warm inside and excited when I go to edit a bunch of text and get to hop around, move stuff around, make spelling corrections, all without moving my hands off the middle of the keyboard!


Lightning Dave Bolton said...

Great, so are you going to use vim as your permanent Ruby editor? I've been a sometime user for a while, and have been thinking of jumping the whole way in too.

Tim Harper said...

I use it now for everything but serious ruby development. I'm still much faster in TextMate and I just get lost in VIM sometimes when editing a lot of files.