Tuesday, 17 January 2012

VIM on Macs :)

I concur!
One gripe that I have is that gnome-vim isn't installed by default which is a slight annoyance since I am able to do X windows tunneling to benefit from high bandwidth and GUI convenience but I need to beg the sysad to install. BUT gnome-vim is terribly laggy locally after I upgraded so not sure if I want to trade GUI for speed.

trying to think of a workflow where i can edit locally (preferably in a dropbox folder which syncs and backups up work in progress) and when done, it can upload (and execute)

hmmm need time to google for this .. I am sure it can be done!

I've been using MacVIM as my editor of choice for a couple of years now, yet in many ways I still feel like a beginner. Every day I am learning more and more about my editor, but it takes a conscious effort to become proficient with an editor like Vim. Here's why I make that effort.

The downside to something like Vim, and other highly configurable editors, is that it does require an investment of time to see the real benefits of it. I have several friends that desire to learn Vim but aren't willing to make the investment to switch from something like TextMate. Thankfully there are quite a few resources out there to help you get up to speed quickly.

  • PeepCode Screencasts - Their offerings of Smash into Vim and Smash into Vim 2 are great videos to help you get started with Vim. I learned some fundamental things about Vim in these screencasts that I wasn't aware of previously. I also find them real gems to visit again and again. Well worth the money.
  • VimCasts - Free short videos highlighting features of Vim. VimCasts is produced by Drew Neil. These are high quality professionally done trainings. A highly recommended addition to your podcast reader.
  • Vim Scripts - Part of the Vim site that is devoted to third-party plugins to expand the capabilities of Vim. It's well worth your time to find plugins that make things easier. For instance, I have a plugin that highlights errors in my Python code as I type, such as finding unused imports or making sure my code is PEP8 compliant. I have a plugin that makes commenting painless.
  • Justin Lilly's Vim Screencasts - My good friend Justin Lilly has a number of great screencasts on Vim. Additionally, his post titled Vim: My New IDE is an excellent introduction to some of the plugins available on Vim.

One other thing that will get you up to speed on Vim is to start with someone else's Vim configuration. Mine is available on GitHub. I caution you to not adopt a complex Vim configuration until you have the basics down. The main reason being is that some configurations alter basic builtin behavior. For instance in my configuration I disable navigation using the arrow keys. If you're not aware of this it could impact your understanding of what are Vim defaults and what things are modifications.

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