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re: Unpopular opinions VIEW POST

FULL DISCUSSION
 

It's a waste of time to learn vim.

here's my reasoning.

Yes it's a bit annoying if you have to edit something on the fly on a server without a GUI - but fumbling around in vim for this small amount of time is still quicker than learning all the keybindings. and why are you vimming around on the server anyway? isn't that a red flag in the first place?

I have probs spent well less than 1 day in total working in vim, in my dev career.

whereas I spend 8 hours a day in an IDE which catches 80% of my mistakes for me and offers all sorts of other features to boot.

 

Vim at its core is a language for describing editing actions. The language goes all the way back to the first editor of UNIX, ed. The history of the tools and the language goes like: ed -> em -> ex -> vi -> vim. You can save repetitive editing actions as macros or scripts, and use them as you will.

A tailored IDE is usually the best for a particular language: .NET VB and C# work best in Visual Studio; Java and Kotlin in IntelliJ IDEA; Objective-C and Swift in Xcode. They are feature-rich, configurable, and user-friendly. People have invested in making them good tools for those languages. Similarly, many people have invested in making vim a good tool for C and shell script, which it grew up with, and other languages which do not have IDEs of their own. Vim provides a fall back semantic when the semantic analysis tool of the programming language is down or non-existent.

 

I was made to learn vim and all I needed to know was: I for insert, e for end, x for delete and :wq for "write quit"

It's useful but I wouldn't trouble myself to remember more

 

I have probs spent well less than 1 day in total working in vim, in my dev career.

Honestly it only really takes a day or two to learn most of what you need to know to be productive in Vim. One of the great things about Vim is that it doesn't actually have that many important keybindings but the ones it has can be composited in many ways.

Not that I'm trying to convert anyone but I think the 'learning cliff' meme is inaccurate and scares people off that might otherwise benefit from learning Vim.

Of course I use it partly because it was easier for me to know VIm and be able to edit stuff up on a glorified mainframe when I was in school than to constantly be pushing code up and down.

 

What is your IDE of choice?

 

Only used JetBrains products, so - JetBrains.

 
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VIM users seem to install a ton of plugins to make it similar to a regular editor, which always seems like extra steps for a similar experience.

I only need to install 2/3 plugins to get a similar experience to my VSCode setup. If you remove themes from both I actually have almost the exact same number of plugins/extensions installed in both VSCode and Vim. The number of plugins you actually 'need' to add to get common behaviors between the two is small.

VSCode is great and there is still stuff I can do there that doesn't have a parallel in Vim but for 90+% of my daily work I can get the same things done faster in Vim than I can in VSCode.

 

That seems like a very popular opinion except among those that have learned vim.

Now I'll switch to links to respond to your comments.

still quicker than learning all the keybindings

IDE which catches 80% of my mistakes for me and offers all sorts of other features to boot.

visualstudiomagazine.com/articles/...

onivim.io/

I have not found learning vim a waste and still get IDE benefits.

 

I have learned vim enough to write part of the translated manual in french.

And I'm sorry but it would be delusional to think that vim gives IDE benefits similar to JetBrains IntelliJ IDEA :)

I have not found learning vim a waste and still get IDE benefits.

Right it's not a waste of time, it's fun

And I'm sorry but it would be delusional to think that vim gives IDE benefits similar to JetBrains IntelliJ IDEA :)

With the right plugins you can get most of the way there. I'll take 95% of the way there for free than 100% of the way for $150/year.

vim+plugins doesn't do 95% of a modern ide

and $150/year is like one or two hour of work for your employer, I'm pretty sure that he shouldn't care

I think you missed that I wasn't specifically talking about vim, but emulators and new IDE which provide vim's mode based editing.

Obviously I don’t have hard numbers but I’m curious what you are sure that Vim can’t do that a full fledged IDE can’t.

I’m honestly wondering because I haven’t run into much at all that I can’t cover in Vim. I don’t tend to work in languages with tons of tooling though so maybe that accounts for it.

And not everyone is luck enough to have an employee who will shell out for arbitrary licenses.

And not everyone is luck enough to have an employee who will shell out for arbitrary licenses.

True, and that's why there is a space for both

(from Jesse) I think you missed that I wasn't specifically talking about vim, but emulators and new IDE which provide vim's mode based editing.

onivim.io/ is not released yet so why would I compare with mature IDEs?

Using a modern IDE with vim's mode based editing is fine if that's something you like

I don’t tend to work in languages with tons of tooling though so maybe that accounts for it.

Ah maybe that's why. Try out doing refactoring with Kotlin in JetBrains IDEA Community Edition

When I did C++ and Java in school I definitely appreciated having more tooling around things.

 
 

Vim is one of those skills that's nice to have, but not necessary to be productive. The high upfront learning curve is not as high as you might think, and it does provide some tools to eliminate a lot of redundancy and inefficiency with typing, but it's usually not a force multiplier.

IMO, it really comes down to one question: do you find significant value in decreasing the time it takes to transform your thoughts into text on the screen? If so, then you should learn/use Vim. If not, then it may not be worth it for you.

I should add that I use the Vim key bindings for VS Code. So really I get the best of both worlds. I highly recommend that approach.

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