Why Vim is very different Apr 2017

Ah, the smell of editor wars. Arguments collide. Opinions galore. Lots of heat, so little light…

This article was not written for the sake of argument. I just want to highlight why I keep coming back to vim, decade after decade. Or rather, I’ll defer to a great 36-min video by Chris Toomey:

Trust me, there is something very fundamental going on in vim’s edit-vs-type distinction, which none of Sublime Text, Atom, or even Emacs editors seem to be capitalising on. Surprisingly.

Is vim hard to learn, or perhaps remember? Check out Mike Coutermarsh’s 24-min video:

George Brocklehurst goes through the motions and vim conveniences in this 32-min video:

If you think it all needs a lot of customisation, check out Max Cantor’s 1-hour presentation:

These videos all come from the same “Thoughtbot” channel, which I only discovered recently.

And although each of the above videos is about vim, my second point is that a keyboard-only editing workflow is not just “doable”, it actually has some very practical advantages over using the mouse (exclusively, because that’s the whole point!). Don’t take my word for it, just watch.

Coming up next: using the keyboard beyond merely the editing part of the job.

Addendum: if you’re interested in this whole keyboard editing thing, check out Aaron Bieber’s excellent 40-min video, with a rather surprising and intriguing twist on “Vim vs Emacs”. For another 15 min of your time (yes, I know, it adds up…), also check out his Escaping the Tar Pit.

Addendum #2: it now looks like there’s in fact a second option open to me, i.e. use Emacs as wrapper, with “Evil mode” to switch to Vim’s editing model and key bindings, and everything else brought into Emacs’s windows on the Mac, instead of using tmux or a VM with i3. Hmm…

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