I've always been on the lookout for the best code editor available, and through the years this means I've used such different editors as Emacs, Eclipse, Zend Studio, NetBeans, TextMate and Sublime Text.

However, recently I got interested in Vim.

At Arnsbo Media, we tend not to be too religious about editors. Most of us have tried a multitude of editors, and we have no official policy on the matter, as we believe the developer should choose his own set of tools.

Now, for the last few years I've been a fan of TextMate and Sublime Text, as these tend to have the speed, stability and the featureset I like. However, in the recent couple of years, I've seen a trend amongst developers to switch back to Vim and Emacs. This seemed to be a reaction to IDE's becoming very complex, and I wanted to figure out if my current setup is still the best for me.

So, I've entered the world of simpler editors again, and I'll try to document my findings here.

Why choose Vim ?

Here's the deal: As much as development IDE's like PHPstorm, Eclipse and Netbeans help out, when building complex solutions, much of the time you don't really need them, and they end up pullng focus from the code. From my perspective, I basically tend to do architecture a few times in the beginning of a project, and then the rest of the time is spent implementing in existing files.

Furthermore, I spend a lot of time ssh'ing to servers, and the idea of having the same environment on my Mac as on my servers, seems very interesting (Especially when combined with having a dotfiles repo).

I have used Emacs a lot before, but it seems Vim has a broader userbase now, and so configurations, hints etc. have become a lot easier to find for Vim. Furthermore, the Emacs setup process is quite tedious, and I wanted to see what Vim has to offer, now that I haven't used it in a few years.

Resources I've started using

To not start from scratch, I've setup my basic vimrc using Yan's YADR repo at https://github.com/skwp/dotfiles

Also, I'm currently reading Pragmatic Programmers' Practical Vim

And last, but not least, I've started viewing the screencasts from Peepcode: Smash into Vim

Forcing myself to use Vim

Usually, I would write my blogposts using Mou, as it's the best Markdown editor for Mac (imo), but this one is written using Vim. I figure forcing myself into using the tools in Vim will speedup the learning process, instead of editor-switching all the time.

I'll continue this series, when I learn more than basic navigation and simple editing.