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Discussion on: Vim Is The Perfect IDE

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Brian Hogg

At a previous job, I used VIM because it was the editor the other devs were using, and specifically there was remote pair-programming that utilized VIM. Now, I know folks love it -- the devs at the job sure did -- but I loathed every minute of coding with it.

The basic paradigm felt like it was eschewing any modernity just for its own sake, as though the peak of computing tech came into existence 40 years ago, and not even something like the newfangled mouse would be acknowledged. The idea of flipping between modes struck me -- and still does -- as ludicrous.

The two main perks of the VIM, as far as I've ever seen, are both related to speed: one being that you never need to move your hands off the keyboard, and the other being at how fast the editor lets you work. And while I can type at upwards of 90 words per minute, I don't program at that speed. Do any of you? I wonder how relevant that level of speed is to anyone.

And as far as the speed it grants you … I never really saw that. Not just from my own begrudging use, but I lost track of the amount of time I spent watching the other devs going into change something and bragging about the speed of VIM, only to spend a lot more time making whatever change than it would've taken with an IDE. Now, I can't say that all of the dev in the office weren't just totally clueless about how to use VIM, so maybe it's their fault, not the editor. But there were 6 of them, and it was consistent.

(If it's an editor you like, that's cool. I personally like Visual Studio Code, as it's a good mix of time-saving keyboard shortcuts with features using technology developed in the time since man's landed on the moon, but since this conversation is getting all testy I figured I'd jump in)