Adventures in Vim

September 25, 2019

I have been using Vscode for as long as I can remember, my first true beloved text editor was of course non other than sublime which is loved for being light and still had extensions and amazing functionality, of course as a broke student i didn’t buy a license so the “ocational please buy a license sur” pop up was no biggie for me.
in my second semster I had to do some web development just basic stuff and that’s when i realized the inadequecy of sublime, prior to that i was mainly using it for mostly C and C++, but now i had HTML and Javacript and CSS, so i wanted something more specialized, that’s when i switched to brackets which was good and i worked on for a while until i had to do some CPP and it was annoying switching between both apps when an app that could do both things existed.
i am a microsoft hater so i naturally hated Vscode which then drove me to atom, Atom was not a pleasunt experience becuse well its electron and its super heavy for my A10 Laptop so i had to join the enemy, the first time i used vscode, i had to google how to hide that annoying line in the middle like pretty much most people, got that and then from then i expanded its functionality and kept adding stuff, and i realized it’s by far the most powerful text editor i ever actually used.
fast foreword few months later and here i am thinking about life and going minimal and stuff, so my huge Manjaro KDE Plasma setup replaced with a minimal Arch Bspwm installation and things were looking good, the only 2 apps i could’nt switch to full cli we’re text editor and file manager(that’s a story for another time, keyword tmux), i tried vim few times but always ended with the nah am going back to my vscode safe space.
Few days ago i decided i should give vim another shot and i have kept my configs from the past times i tried it, my configs are just a modifed version of Optixal’s vim init it’s by far the lightest i could find and easiest to understand and add to, with my config set up i was ready to go, the first task is writing this on vim (which am doing right now).

Setbacks:

it ain’t all sunshine and rainbows, there is always something that isnt quite as expected

  • Autocomplection across all file types and file system: vscode does this woundeerfully so i had to get it back i used the defaults but they weren’t exactly vscode level so as usual i googled stuff and found CoC which is exactly what the doctor ordered, things worked as usual out of the box with this one the auto completion popup is even faster than vscode.
  • using Tab for completion: took me a while to get used to that but its not that bad, am used to just enter and boom it’s there and that’s all, with this Tab system its kinda safer because no accedential completions, it will take me a while to not press enter on a completion which will insert a new line.
  • extentions managements: anotehr thing vscode excels at but vim isn’t bad either with vim-plug its kinda easier becuse i like one file configs, the only issue for me is the lack of a packge registery like in vscode, so you have to google something everytime you are looking for extensions.
  • Spell checking: yes i use that, on vscode ofc there is a pretty good extension for it, so i was looking for something similar which unfortunatly doesn’t exist, i ended up using LanguageTool with Grammarous which does the job adequetly but the fact that you have to run it manually is kinda annoying.

The Good Stuff:

yeah there a good sides to this switch and vim in general

  • its a terminal app!, that’s the main thing for me as i spend all the time on a text editor or a tmux screen (resurrected ftw) so having my code in here as well is super handy, i’ll be typing stuff and then switch to another tmux pane and build or do whatever(or just do that from inside vim).
  • resources usage: lets be honest no matter what Microsoft do they can’t change the fact that vscode is an electron app and like its brothers they’re very resource heavy, vim on the other hand is just a cli application, even tho some completion systems will use a lot of resources its still less than what vscode usually settles for.
  • the integration: one of the reasons i decided to give vim another try is belive it or not is latex, i started learning latex and its annoying to use another app just to edit text, vscode is nice but overkill, i use typora for markdown and itss great and has Mathjs integration but that has limited latex support and very limited, so vim looked like the best soultion, i am going to also switch my markdown editing here because again integration.


  • Goyo: vscode did have a focus mode and it worked similarly, this allows me to compeletly focus on a file and not get distracted by other things like the cool NerdTree with icons or the tagBar.

Conclusion:

vim is powerful and there is so much more i still haven’t learned about it and that’s ok because the journey is just starting, give me few months and i’ll be fuzzy searching blind folded and other ninja typa of shit, i have found substitues to most of the stuff i use daily and that’s great even if they don’t exactly dunction the same way, i will post an update in few months after i have mastered this(i still use arrow keys lmao).
i will just shamelessly plug my dotfiles here just as usual.

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