By josh / May 12, 2014

Rousting the Vim mafia

“what is this ~~ bulls*** ~~”

I was getting ready for bed one evening, when my buddy Derick Bailey emailed me a screen cap of the above message, pulled from his Twitter feed.

The angry reaction was from Tim Pope, a longtime Vim advocate and author of several excellent and useful Vim plugins.

Tim was apparently minding his own business, checking Twitter, when one of the ads I run to promote this newsletter popped into his feed.

Heh. Ooops.

Several other Vim fans responded to his tweet with varying levels of snark–even disdain. These guys were genuinely angry.

Now, I love a good round of the editor wars as much as anyone, but some people take it waaaaaaaay too far.

Like you’re insulting their mother, or saying their baby is ugly.

Here’s the thing. Just about every popular editor out there is pretty awesome, and one of the best ways to level up your productivity in your editor of choice is to experiment with the other ones.

Can I tell you a little secret? I wrote big chunks of Sublime Productivity–in MacVim.

And I used org-mode in emacs to outline Writing Sublime Plugins

Partly this was because I needed to keep my Sublime installations clean for testing, so I couldn’t use my favorite plugins and tweaks.

But I also like trying out other editors and learning what they do well.

Vim’s modal navigation shortcuts are wonderfully efficient, once you get them ingrained into muscle memory. (Sublime’s Vintage mode provides a decent emulation of these, and I use it constantly.)

Org-mode in emacs is truly incredible–I’ve yet to see an outlining program that comes anywhere close.

While I enjoy these other editors, I keep coming back to Sublime, because it just fits my preferences and workflow perfectly.

But if you’ve never tried one of these time-tested tools, check them out. I guarantee you’ll find a feature that you love.

And the best part? There’s probably already a plugin that will let you add that feature to Sublime!

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About the author


Deepak - May 12, 2014

I find it interesting to see strong affiliation people have towards a text editor. Choice of a text editor is a personal thing. It is one tool devs like me use most in their coding day. About a month ago I moved to Vim after being a Sublime user for few years. I will not go as far as saying that Vim has increased my productivity, I will however say that I feel very comfortable in Vim. At the end I think it is personal choice.

BTW: Find in files feature of Sublime rocks and I still turn to it for doing search in a large source tree.

Jared Smith - June 7, 2014

Honestly, it’s a personal choice. I swap between sublime, MacVim, and rubymine depending on what I’m trying to do. I have recently heard people saying how crazy productive vim is. .

What it really comes down to is learning your editor and it’s ins and outs. Nearly everything in sublime could be bound to keys like vim and someone who really works at those commands like you would with vim can be very fast while editing.

In the end just learn your chosen editor and use whatever makes you happiest while developing. There’s nothing better for productivity than actually wanting to open your editor and code.

Richard Guay - September 4, 2015

I regularly use Sublime, Emacs, and MacVim. Since I found Spacemacs, I have quit using MacVim. But, I always come back to Sublime for it’s speed, TextPastry plugin (my favorite), and it’s multiple cursors that just works great. I wish Sublime’s Vintage mode was better! Either way, I still use other editors for more focused text editing (FoldingText and Typed for markdown, Scrivener for research and tutorial writing, etc). As my Dad always said, “Use the best tool for each job. If something says it’s for everything, don’t believe it!” He was an architect and carpenter.

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