I had to learn python about two weeks back and I felt I ought to do things differently this time; I resolved to learn using an editor and not go through the IDE route. So I fired up gedit and was enjoying it until I wrote a program that ran an endless loop and had to kill the gedit process. After that, my gedit was never the same and all my attempts at fixing it failed. Frustrated at this, I had to choose between kwrite and vim… my choice made me write today.
Vim stands for vi improved. It’s the text editor that comes bundled with most unix distros and is a whole lot of fun. I am pretty much impressed by the features vim’s got: commands for text substitution, deletion and replacement, the lack of need for a mouse, the ability to run shell commands, the ‘cool geeky’ feel it has and best of all, the ease it brings to the development process. Here are some reasons why you should use vim if you are adventurous.
Vim makes editing and writing code very easy. You don’t have to worry about moving the cursor all around anymore. Just press the appropriate commands and you’ll have your code dancing to your biddings. Copy and paste the last edit process? Just press 3 keys. Text substititution? Easy. Regular Expressions? No sweat.
The thousand and one zim extensions available enable users to customize it and extend it in novel ways. You can use vim to write C, C++, Java, PHP, RoR, Python and a whole lot of other languages. Moreover, you can use vim for text editing purposes too. It just simply makes life easy; you don’t have to have 3 or 4 separate IDEs anymore, use vim and have fun.
Vim is available on all major platforms and you don’t have to worry about your favourite code development tool not running on some environments.
Before you jump into vim, know that it has a steep learning curve but once you get the drift; you’re gonna love it and better still, it’s available on all platforms. I’m not saying using an IDE is bad – I still use Eclipse and Netbeans – but using vim allows you to become more efficient.
- Textmate To Vim: 100 Textmate keyboard shortcuts translated to VIM (jackkinsella.ie)
- Evolution of the web, VIM cheat sheet, KendoUI, Where is the fold?, Beautiful Code, Ugly JS (developer.yahoo.com)