Monday, December 17, 2007

Vi! Vi! Vi!

I’ve been using Vim for about 4 months now, and I must admit that I’m not sure how I did without it. Modal editing seems like a natural paradigm to me (similar to lifting your hands off the keyboard to perform operations with the mouse, except without lifting hands from the keyboard :-), and the movement commands seemed intuitive and somehow logical, much easier than remember all the different keybindings Emacs has. Vim is a great text editor; however, it isn’t as well suited to more specific tasks, such as being an IDE or a document editor, as dedicated software such as IntelliJ IDEA or Word/OpenOffice are. The problem with those, in turn, is that text editing isn’t half as smooth as with Vim.

So, I was quite pleased when I stumbled upon this:


A Netbeans module for Vi-like editing in Netbeans. I’ve been playing with it a bit and it definitely looks promising; this goes at least some way to resolving the IDE question, as I’ve found Netbeans to be great for Ruby/Rails and second only to IntelliJ as a Java IDE. For work, I’m thinking of splashing out on this:


I’ve had a go with the demo and it works great. They have a version for Word/Outlook too, which is definitely very enticing - even though I already find editing text with Vim a lot more efficient than with a traditional editor, I still feel like I could be quite a bit more productive, and the more I get to practice, the easier this should hopefully become. Now if only I could find an equivalent for Open Office and Thunderbird…

posted by Nick at 11:15 pm - filed in linux, windows