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To Vim, or not to Vim? with Allan MacGregor & Alex Smith

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This week on the show, @jess and I focused on Vim: the Unix text-editor that's included in Linux, BSD, and macOS. It's highly customizable, efficient, and considered a "programmer's editor". However, Vim also has a steep learning curve which deters a lot of folks right off the bat. In other words, Vim always generates a lot of conversation.

We were joined by two guests with extensive Vim knowledge (and opinions!) for a discussion that covered many facets of the editor, from configuration tips, to our favorite features, to counter-arguments against Vim:

Check out this DEV article by Allan (originally published on Hackernoon) to get a sense of the passion Vim often stirs in programmers.

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Top comments (6)

vonheikemen profile image

No one mentioned how well vim integrates with external tools. For example, thanks to the builtin terminal (and floating windows) I can use these tools in a way that enhances my workflow.

  • fzf (fuzzy finder)
  • ripgrep (content search)
  • nnn (file explorer)
  • lazygit (git UI)

Also, things like tmux can help you manage projects and multiple screens. I'm not a tmux "power user" but I assume you can do other crazy things with vim + tmux.

And speaking of crazy things, I came across this awesome video a few days ago: What can't you do in Neovim? 2020 (I hope the clickbaity title can convince you to watch it)

brandonwallace profile image

Yes, Vim is worth learning. It really does not take that long to learn the basics.
One only needs to get used to the way the editor works because it is different than any other editor out there. That is why they say the learning curve is steep. Vim is a powerful text editor (especially with a custom .vimrc), after you learn it you will not want to use any other editor.

darkwiiplayer profile image
𒎏Wii 🏳️‍⚧️

Been using and hacking vim for a few years now and I just can't use any other editor anymore. I routinely get frustrated when I have to edit some code in a website text box because AAAAAARGHKUHKUSAKDJH!!!one!

reobin profile image
Robin Gagnon

iI know your pain!:wq

graciegregory profile image
Gracie Gregory (she/her)

I learned a ton in this episode. Great job, all!

fennecdjay profile image
Jérémie Astor

Another nice episode. Congrats!