TextMate to VIM and back, why I made the switch.

About 6 months ago I made the switch from TextMate to MacVim because of a couple things:

  • TextMate is kinda, not really being developed anymore
  • Many other options are out there
  • TONs of Python developers post about their editors all the time
  • VIM is hardcore and installed by default on many Linux systems (which I work with all day)
  • I wanted to take a side in the holy war (Emacs vs. VIM)

After doing a lot of research on the editors that were available I tried out Aquamacs and played around with it for a while. Emacs is powerful, as long as you install the right plugins…and know LISP(ugh!). Emacs is just too much pressing of the control button and shift and other modifier keys, I have carpal tunnel  and pressing Control + (modifier key) is too much if I have to do it repeatedly.

I switched to MacVim, fewer modifier keys, much simpler to use and no knowledge of LISP is required. VIM syntax is much better, but still coding to be able to code isn’t really ideal for me. Luckily I found the right plugins and the right tutorials and got everything working, I even switched to MacVim as the default editor for everything. I spent the next 5 months learning how to use MacVim and since, I got a new job, doing support for the best hosting company in the world, using VIM was very helpful.

Recently on Twitter I saw this: http://justinlilly.com/blog/editor-stats/ After looking through the screenshots of all of the different editors that are out there I began to miss using TextMate with its Cocoa-ness and modern feel, VIM is very archaic and keyboard dependent, while being ideal for some people is not idea for me). I installed all of the bundles that I wanted, and, there was a bundle for everything that I wanted. IMO, using “svn co …” is much easier than downloading, unzipping, and copying the files to the right directories and editing vimrc to make sure that the new modules are being used when they are supposed to be.

So now I am back to using TextMate as my default editor and I am enjoying it tremendously. There is no coding involved to change the background color, no command to invoke to have the sidebar open, no navigating with the keyboard only when using NERDTree, no more having to type NERDTree, and most of all bundles are so much better, faster to install and modify than with VIM.

I am still, eagerly, awaiting the release of TextMate 2 but for now I am happy to be able to change things without code so that I can spend my coding time doing something productive instead of configuring my editor.