A week with Vim

It’s a new year, and I thought it would be a good occasion to start learning something new - and what would be better than learning how to use a new editor?

In the Ruby (or at least Rails) community, Vim has seemed to be all the rage for at least the last 6 month if not longer. So that seemed like an excellent choice because of plenty of resources where I could seek help when stuck, and besides that I already had a little experience with Vi/Vim from configuring servers.

Getting started

This was pretty easy - I installed MacVim. And I knew about the rails.vim plugin that adds some nice extra features. But it didn’t take long until somebody pointed me in the direction of the plugin bundle called Janus that adds even more features and comes preconfigured with nice defaults.

And with that I was up and running and ready to take Vim for a spin.

What’s it like?

After the first day with Vim, my brain felt like a bowl of porridge. Learning to use any new editor is pretty much like learning a new language, but you’re not allowed to use any languages you’ve previously learned.

This is especially true for Vim - it’s like no other editor (except Vi).

Fortunately it’s easy to notice improvements and already on the second day I felt both more confident and more productive than on the first (and the brain wasn’t nearly as battered as the day before).

All that’s left

All that’s left now for me is to get really fluent in Vim and become faster and more productive than I was with TextMate.

Oh yeah, and I can also finally enjoy the life of a true geek (because everyone knows that true geeks use Vim).