Vi/VIM: The best choice for writing code

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This text is not aimed at explaining how to use neither Vi nor Vim. There are hundreds of amazing tutorials, tools and books written about this. There are also games you could play to get used to Vim editor. This text has been written just to let you know my point of view on choosing an editor and in next entries, how I customized it to be more productive.

Let’s start talking about why choosing Vim editor to write software.

First of all Vim is FLOSS (free libre open source software). For me that means a lot, because I don’t want to use propietary software built on a company who may have many interests hidden behind letting users use their software.

The original Vi editor was written by Bill Joy in 1976 as the visual mode for ex line editor and released in 1978. In 1991 a Vi clone called Vim was released for Amiga computers by Bram Moolenaar. Vim’s first meaning was Vi Imitator but late in 1993 Vi-sual IM-proved was adopted.
That means Vi and Vim are very old compared with other editors. But, why is this important? Well, since it was created, its community continues to develop and work on it. That makes it really hard to find bugs or errors to fix.

Vi and Vim are multiplatform tools. It’s code has been ported to many many architectures and operating systems such as M$ Windows, MacOS, GNU/Linux, BSD, Unix, OpenVMS, etc…

Both editors run on a console. This is good because you don’t need to have an entire graphical environment just to edit text. That makes them lighter and you don’t have to wait for the graphical thing to be loaded, which makes you more productive. Then, it is also very useful for people who need to connect to a remote environment/server over SSH connection. But for those who love graphical environments there are many flavors of Vim who can run graphically with all the buttons you expected right there.

There are many jokes about how hard is to learn Vim. But I don’t think so. I think there is a mindset to use it that once you learned it you will love it. You have to learn how to use it only once, and since it’s been used to develop software for 40 years and it’s still being used, I don’t think it’ll be deprecated soon. It does not have nothing to envy to any newest editors. It has a large community and a lot of plugins to cover almost everyting, in a less weighted way.

The last thing is that vim could be mouseless. People who use vim are very happy saying you don’t have to move your hands out of the keyboard to perform an action. And also due to it’s editing modes you don’t have to stretch your fingers to reach complex key combinations, everything is always there ritght in your fingertips.

Info, books, tutorials an exercises:

Learn Vim playing a game:

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