Why couldn’t I just be fine with Nano and Sublime Text? I guess I can’t help but be curious!
Up until a few days ago, my previous experience with VIM was limited. I’ve been using Linux heavily for years now, and it was just an annoyance. In the past my only exposure to VIM was AUR install scripts or source builds that forced me to check build files via VIM. What that really meant was it was that annoying text program, that I had no clue how to quit when it suddenly was on my screen! :w to save, and :q to quit, but not if your in insert mode…what?
Well, now that’s changing, progressively.
I believe the seed for it started at some point in my last work rotation, where for some reason my brain said I should go read a how-to article on VIM. I read the first blurb about moving around a document, and going into insert mode, and it mostly seemed unnecessary on its own. When I started to read combining commands together, like 5w to move five words down, ( and ) for moving sentences and more…it started to click.
As VIM' own site says, they don’t hold hands. It appears to be a very powerful text editor, but you have to learn the commands and try them out in your own workflow. So I studied a few more pages on VIM tutorials and understanding it’s powers. Then, I became curious if it could support MarkDown for writing, and sure enough, VIM-MarkDown plugin…easy! How could I paste from the web into VIM? In my case at least, Shift + Left/Right Mouse Together, given a lack of middle mouse on the laptop.
The end result of all this?
Well, this post was written in VIM with MarkDown syntax highlighting.
It was a very distraction free writing environment. Finally, even at my novice level, it was easy to move around the document and get familiar with the commands. It’s not hard to see that it has a steep learning curve, but especially on longer articles and research notes, how easy it can make working with text.
I am not a committed VIM user yet, but this is definitely an extended expedition into foreign lands, and other than the confusing signs, is quite intriguing and worth further exploration.