An IDE can heavily influence the development experience in a language, as I found last week with IntelliJ for Java. This week at Chicago Ruby, Brian and Chris of Hashrocket talked about how the VIM IDE influences the experience of writing in Ruby.
Going from Sublime to VIM is a switch that some of my Rubyist colleagues have chosen not to make because, they explain, the additional bells and whistles of VIM cause more confusion than efficiency. I admit, I’ve had the same impression: the first time I saw VIM, I was watching a presenter demonstrate some Ruby code. I struggled to articulate my questions to the presenter because VIM’s line numbers followed the cursor rather than staying put. That made a bad first impression. I looked forward to coming to Chicago Ruby tonight for a second impression that might make me rethink my position. Unfortunately, that did not happen.
That’s not to say that VIM isn’t awesome and worth a look. Perhaps it is. But, from my perspective, VIM’s opportunities to convert Sublime users lie in places other than those emphasized here. So I humbly offer the following set of reactions to the VIM presentation, from a Sublime user. Here’s what I got from it, and here’s what I wish I got from it.
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