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Discussion on: Vim won't make you a more productive developer

tux0r profile image

My stance on the general push for Vim - after having used it for years before moving back to modeless editors and although I maintain a semi-official Vim build for Windows - are the following considerations:

  1. Editor modes are annoying. In most cases, when I start my editor, I want to type stuff right away. Having to press extra keys for that is not something I'd want to have.
  2. The Vim ecosystem is broken. Four concurring plug-in managers - or was it five? - try to be the "only one".
  3. No Vim is like any other Vim. Because of a giant mess of optional features, :version is a mandatory command whenever I come across "a Vim".

Yes, Vim is cool. A version of vi is installed on most Unix and unixoid systems - but then again, so is ed. -- Vim imitates a concept that was made for systems which haven't been seen in three decades, but its preferences still make sense: everything is a mnemonic. A lot of that is purely emotional though. Impress your friends by not using a mouse, hoo! One could imagine higher aspirations. (My stance on syntax highlighting and code completion is a different topic... Vim's default colors hurt my eyes.)

I have learned a lot in my time with Vim. One of the things I have learned is that modal editors kill too much of my time.

anickaburova profile image

To your first point: usually I edit already created files. In these files after I open them, very very rarely I am at the place where I want to start writing something. So I need to navigate to the place of my interest and vim-mode so far always bested other editors.

eyemyth profile image
Jay Thompson

I couldn't disagree more. Vim's modal nature is insanely convenient and fast, whereas non-modal editors force you to waste time mousing around in menus or GUI elements. Most programmers spend far more time editing and navigating code vs writing it.

"In most cases, when I start my editor, I want to type stuff right away." vim +star

I've used several plugin managers and never had any issue installing the plugins I wanted.

"No Vim is like any other Vim" is like complaining that nobody else organizes their kitchen exactly like you organize yours. 99% of the time, you'll be using the vim you installed and configured.

As for the original question here: a task being difficult and time-consuming isn't a good reason to avoid it, if the payoff is good. Learning vim is one of the best decisions I've ever made.

tux0r profile image

99% of the time, you'll be using the vim you installed and configured.

And since every single distributor compiles different options, you can never be sure about which they are.

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scottkidder profile image
Scott Kidder

If you can use git and GitHub, you can compile your own vim in easily less than 5 minutes.

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tux0r profile image
tux0r • Edited

That's true for all editors. (I compile from Mercurial though.)

unx profile image

I agree with you. How they work on a guest machine while connecting to them via ssh ? They're can touch their gui icons ? I don't know...

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