2 years ago, I was looking for ways to improve my coding efficiency and I came accross the idea of efficient code navigation. At the time I knew a few Xcode shortcuts, but as a game dev I also worked with Visual Studio so they weren’t always useful. It was clear I needed a cross platform editor.
Vim appeared as a fast, efficient, open source, cross platform and highly customizable editor that had a great learning potential. So I set out to learn it.
At this time I also learned emacs for comparison sake. Its extensibility was amazing, for one that does not like the chord system
Evil will emulate most of Vim inside Emacs. But emacs is not as snappy as I’d like it to be, and I prefer the idea of Unix as my IDE.
Today, I feel at home in this great little program. The modal system may be counter intuitive and with a higher cognitive cost (more on this in part III) but it allows for moments of pure magic.
If you want to know whether or not Vim is for you, watch the first 15m of this video.
How to start
Since you’re still here, I’ll give you a couple of tips to get you started.
- Learn to touch type (gtypist is very good, try to use hjkl to move around and Ctrl-[ to escape)
- Start with doing vimtutor (by typing vimtutor in your terminal) once a day, every day for a week
- Resist the desire to install plugins just yet
- Install gVim (MacVim for OSX) if you’re not used to the terminal
- Use vim to manage your notes / todo lists (I associated markdown & txt files with MacVim)
- Get into the vim mindset, when you want to do something with your editor check online, there will most likely be a vim way to achieve it.
That’s about it for now, let it stew, soon your time will come…
This post is part I of vim adventures, you can read vim adventures II here.
Feel free to shout me a good oul Tweet @PierreAclement…