More than a decade back, I looked up for the best text editor on the web and other than the contemporary heroes, it was emacs or vim which stood out to be the classical choice for many developers. It was hard to choose one since both had a strong community advocating one over the other. I decided to go with vim just for the sake of choosing one and trying it out.
I had never heard of modal editing before. And I couldn't believe that I had not thought of it. How could I miss something so obviously important for editing text? What was I thinking all these years repeating my keystrokes to navigate around text? Until then, I only knew the keyboard shortcuts for moving to the end of a line or word with a control key and a character or similar so-called shortcuts. Yet, navigating is just one minuscule capability of vim.
About six months ago (which is after two decades of computing), I discovered the tiling window manager Xmonad. When used in combination with Arch Linux (and without a heavy desktop environment like Gnome), it feels incredibly powerful and yet simple to manage my workflow needs. The ability to move windows around on one workspace, across workspaces and across multiple displays coupled with the customization to control the look and feel (with keystrokes) is astonishing. And yet navigating around windows is just one of the things that Xmonad allows you to do. I do not know Haskell and this is why I was not sure whether I would stick with Xmonad. But over the last six months, I have been able to modify the config for my needs without learning Haskell, so no complaints!
Xmonad makes me rethink about my window management habits just like how vim made me do it for my text editing. I feel rejuvenated to use my machine.
I would love to hear if you have had such moments with any tools/games or anything tech.
If you liked this post, you may want to read: Optimizing the Desktop Environment