Tuesday, April 24th, 2007 - 1:29 PM

vi, Vim, Visual Studio, and ViEmu

For about the past year, I’ve been using Visual Studio for a lot of my development work. I really like to use vi as a text editor, but IDEs like Visual Studio provide valuable functionality that isn’t present in vim. I tend to switch between vim and the IDE, depending on the sort of editing I’m doing.

Fortunately, a friend recently pointed out ViEmu — it’s a Visual Studio plugin that does an outstanding job of providing Vim functionality without breaking Visual Studio.

After using it for a couple days, I found a few issues that impacted my use patterns, and mentioned them to the author. He was very responsive, and provided an update within days.

For vi/vim users who also use Visual Studio, I highly recommend ViEmu. Now I want a plugin for Firefox/Thunderbird. :)

(I also recommend vim/ViEmu for developers who use laptop keyboards and find themselves frequently slowed down when looking for home/end/pgup/pgdn/insert/delete.)

2 Comments to “vi, Vim, Visual Studio, and ViEmu”

  1. anonymous Says:

    There is a vi style plugin for firefox. It is called vimperator. I think that’s the correct spelling. Check it out. What happens to ViEmu after the 30 trial period?

  2. Woody Thrower Says:

    Thanks for mentioning vimperator. It reminded me that I want to write a post about what I like about vi.

    I’ve looked at the vimperator web page before, and I just skimmed it again, but I haven’t installed it. Vimperator fundamentally changes the browser interface in ways that I don’t want, and doesn’t address the main feature I do want (vi capabilities in multi-line edit controls on forms). The other Vimperator functionality doesn’t seem worth the effort to relearn the UI, nor worth the inconvenience to other people who use my browser (I’m sure it can be disabled, but inevitably there will be cases where people will try to use the browser and become irritated). Maybe it would be compelling if I did more web development.

    I’d really like vim as an embedded replacement for editing multi-line text in Firefox, and as the email editor in Thunderbird (although that might preclude WYSIWYG text).

    After the ViEmu 30 day trial period, I believe it remains installed, but the functionality is disabled. I don’t remember if I’ve ever let the trial period expire, but the author is great about answering questions and discussing decisions.

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