.tek: #Vim: I Both Love and Fear You (Tagged: #Code, #Programming, #TextEditors, #Hackers)

When I started working in IT, the text editor that I first learned to use was vi. It was just so much easier to learn than the Emacs in use at my uni. So, naturally, I eventually graduated to becoming a user of Vim and its GUI sibling GVim.

But here’s the problem- Vim is both wonderful and a right royal pain in the throne-nal area. Why? Because, like any proper poster-child for OCD, I can’t stop fiddling with it! I started using Vim seriously back in 2009 and 4 years later, not that I’m one to boast (yeah, right), but my vimrc configuration file is now almost 300 lines long. Many’s the night I’ve been distracted from coding or writing by tweaking this stupid, irritating and distracting file. I’ve ranted about this stuff before (and was immediately thrown off xkcd), yet here I am again fiddling with the damn thing.

The problem is that Vim is just too flexible. You could probably write an AI program in Vim‘s macro language VimScript powerful enough to go on a rampage and destroy all the puny humans on this planet. Power. Responsibility. Spiderman. You get the picture.

The point is that, over the last 10+ years, I have also used another text editor called Metapad that only lets you do a few things well. Unfortunately, this morning, as I updated my scratch (where I stach rough bits of text) file and Captain’s Log (my diary, and yes, I really call it that), I found that Metapad would start, but not show up on the Windows Desktop; it would only show in the Taskbar. I’m sure that I will eventually figure out what’s wrong, but in the meantime, it’s back to good ole powerful, Spawn of the Unholy One and the text editor of supervillains Vim.*


Like any script kiddie, I use a lot of other text/hex editors and IDEs, but Vim and Metapad are the ones that I use the most. I did have a longish fling with PFE, but that’s another story.

“…Love and Fear…”

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