I really want to try kakoune, but the idea of starting over with a new editor and editing paradigm just seems like so much effort and time before I’m productive.
I feel the same way. I use NeoVim and have tried to keep it as stock config as possible, but I think I’ve already tweaked it enough to be different enough. So learning Kakoune would be against vim everywhere and my customization.
If you like the vi/vim experience but want some similar features to Kakoune then vis might be worth a shot. (Also see differences from Kakoune).
I use it as my main editor and structural regular expressions, multi-cursor, etc are all quite intuitive while not leaving the traditional vi-like modal editing world IMO.
Plugins are also written in Lua, if that’s your thing.
YMMV of course, but it only took ~2 weeks after switching from vim for me to become reasonably productive in kakoune.
What was the biggest hurdle for you when acclimating to Kakoune?
Not OP, but as someone else who went from Vim to Kakoune, I think the biggest shift for me was thinking in terms of repeatedly narrowing the selection and then doing one single command on the selection, rather than doing a command sequence and e.g. assigning to a macro or the like. The better I got at selection narrowing, the easier and more natural everything felt. Learning slightly different keystrokes was comparatively very easy.
On day 1 it was 100% unlearning vim muscle memory. After that my biggest challenge was adapting to kakoune’s selection first editing model, which is what inspired me to switch in the first place. It was very worth it though, the incremental nature of the editing in which intermediate results are instantly visible makes complex tasks much more intuitive.
I’m coming from emacs, which is probably going to be worse, but even two weeks sounds like an enormous amount of time to not be able to code. I can’t justify taking more than a day to switch at work, so I’d have to use both, too.
It’s not that I wasn’t able to code at all but that I was significantly slower than I was with vim. I quickly gained speed over the first week though and after ~2 weeks I didn’t feel like my inexperience with editor was holding me back for basic editing tasks. More advanced editing tasks weren’t intolerably slow either, just took a bit more thought than they do now.