Hacker News new | comments | show | ask | jobs | submit login

I use Vim but I don't understand why people try to force themselves to use it. If you are comfortable with another editor, then go ahead, keep using it. Everyones treats Vim as if it's some hallowed apex of programming ability, and that eventually you have to be weaned from your inferior Sublime or Textmate usage. Sure, Vim is awesome, but the idea that you _must_ sooner or later learn it is wrong. Unless of course you really are interested in Vim for what it offers and not just for its reputation.

I got interested in Vim for both what it offered, and its' reputation. It took a while to get used to but now I can't live without Vim controls; it's just so efficient.

It's gotten to the point where I use a tiling window manager on my Linux distro with all controls Vim style. I have a Firefox add-on to give it Vim controls [1], and I use Vim for basic word processing. I can control almost every part of my OS, excluding Skype, purely through my keyboard with virtually no mouse involvement.

It's all very addicting once you get used to it.

1: http://5digits.org/pentadactyl/

I really want to see some measurements of the efficiency of vim. Because we [know](http://www.asktog.com/TOI/toi06KeyboardVMouse1.html) that people's perception of time taken when using keyboard shortcuts is skewed: using keyboard shortcuts makes you perceive your actions as faster, even in those cases where they are not. Thus, I hear a lot of people say good things about vim, but it is difficult to merely take their word for it, since it might very well be that they think they are faster then they are.

Vim and using the keyboard isn't about speed. It's about precision.

Also: many text editing actions can go from conscious (using a mouse) to subconscious (using the keyboard + muscle memory).

Also check out vimperator (http://www.vimperator.org/vimperator). It is updated more often and has great support.

Personally I think that the most persuasive part of Vim is its availability on so many Linux distributions and its accessibility over the terminal. But outside of that, fast editing and typing does not seem to be a sufficiently interesting concern.

I am definitely not a seasoned or prodigious programmer, but I find that most of my time is spent on reading, understanding, or planning code. By the time I begin coding, I will already have a strong idea of where I want to go, and I spend very little time actually typing or editing. The same is true for essay writing -- by the time I pick up the metaphorical pen, I have already finished most of the essay in my head, with only trivial details to hammer out.

Therefore, why not select the metaphorical pen which you find most enjoyable? For me, I choose Vim. And sometimes Sublime Text.

I've been forcing myself to use it, but not in an unhealthy way. I just picked up a side project that excited me (new subdomain blog driven by a static site generator) and decided I'd only work on it in Vim. I'm learning lots, because that's all I've got to work with. But I think it's important to consider the circumstances under which you "force" yourself to use it. If I had decided to use it for work, I calculated that I would have lost $300 this week, which is painful even if I earn back more in saved time later. I actually did that with Linux, and the initial loss of efficiency was more than offset later by a functional knowledge of a variety of really cool software packages.

If you really want to learn vim but are worried that the learning curve will impair your productivity for a few weeks at work, why not use it at home for a while on your own projects? I still think total immersion is the fastest way, but if you can't do that, then using it away from real work is better than nothing. I did it by using vim to edit everything, including long form writing and email.

Yes of course, many people that choose to learn Vim do so because they've heard how great it is from blog posts and coworkers, and are genuinely interested in it. There is also another group of people who feel compelled to learn Vim because they've heard it's the One True Editor and no other reason than that. I'm not saying tsironakos is this way, just pointing out a trend I've noticed.

In the end, the best editor is the one you can leverage the most.

People try to force themselves to use vim (or emacs or whatever) because they're curious about it, and they find out that they have to spend some time and effort with it before they can decide whether or not it's the right editor for them. And what makes people curious about it? Most likely the reputation has something to do with it.

I agree though that there's no reason every programmer must try and learn vim; there plenty other editors out there, and if you're productive with one, there's no reason not to stick with it. Still, people want to try because they're curious, and if vim lives up to its reputation for them, well.. good for them I guess?

After learning vim and its keyboard shortcuts I became so used to navigating and manipulating text with them that I feel severely limited without them.

However, that's the only part of vim that I miss when not using it. I regularly use other editors that have vim keybindings. For example: Sublime Text is pleasant in Vintage mode and, and I regularly use IntelliJ IDEA with the IdeaVim plugin because of its advanced IDE features for ruby and JavaScript.

except that it can run in a terminal, which is nice on remote servers or in tmux

I switched to Vim because, as I was transitioning to Linux from Mac OSX, I needed a cross-platform alternative to TextMate. After 10 months spent trying every cross-platform (Mac OS X/Linux) editor/IDE from joe, ne, or even diakonos to NetBeans and fiends, I found Vim and Emacs to be the closest to what I wanted/needed. Ultimately, the intuitiveness (yes) of Vim's language won me over and now, 3+ years after I took the plunge, I don't regret anything.

I agree, switching to Vim just because it is fashionable is a dumb move.

For the record, if ST had been available for Linux and Mac OSX at the time I was looking around, I'm 100% sure that it would have been my choice.

> but the idea that you _must_ sooner or later learn it is wrong.

I think a person who is going to do anything with UNIX/Linux owes it to him or herself to learn either Vim or Emacs, if only for the occasional editing that needs to be done over a remote terminal connection. There are other editors, of course, but these are powerful ones.

You can get away with using nano these days. In fact, invoking 'visudo' on Debian-based systems does not, in fact, use vi.

I agree with you though. Basic vi usage for quick edits is part of UNIX/Linux literacy.

The thing is, for a programmer, a programmable text editor can multiply your productivity. You can leverage your programming skills to improve your programming environment. This is increadibly powerful stuff. Neo would say that it can free your mind.

Productivity is probably too generic of a word. I would say 'typing speed'.

Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | DMCA | Apply to YC | Contact