Not Switching from Emacs to Vim

Following my last article about possibly making the heretical move to Vim from Emacs, I’ve been trying to use Vim as much as I can. I can now safely say that I will not be making the switch.

There are a number of reasons to this.

Firstly, and most importantly I can’t quite make the conceptual leap to modal editing. My brain understands that I need to hit “Esc” if I want to move around, or “i” if I then want to insert something, however my fingers completely ignore that fact. I just can’t seem to stop myself moving around and then starting to type straight away. Likewise, I just can’t seem to stop trying to move whilst I am writing. My pathetic intellect can’t cope with separating the two.

Secondly, the saying is true: “You don’t miss something till it’s gone”. I have discovered during my journey of using Vim that I actually really like Emacs. I like the fact that it has a calendar in there so I can quickly see what date next Tuesday is, or that I can have an IRC chat without leaving my editor, or that I can organise my life. I like the fact that there is Lisp behind it all and I can tweak around with it if I want or that I’m getting pretty efficient with Emacs for my day-to-day work. And I love the fact that I’m not a newbie any more, but I still have loads to learn.

Finally, with the above two aspects in mind, I have been using Emacs in console mode exclusively since my epiphany of “stick with Emacs”. This way I can get a better representation if I decide to set up a VPS so I can work remotely. And you know what. It’s absolutely fine! Normally I use Emacs (GTK I think, not XEmacs) which is great, but in console I can’t use the mouse, and this is brilliant! (I hate rodents). It doesn’t play so nicely with Tmux, but I’m using the shell witin Emacs much more, and for what I need, it’s fine.

So, there you have it. Sorry Vim, I hardly knew ya. Hello Emacs, I’m back!