It’s weird, earlier this year I switched to emacs as my primary editor
after about a decade of using mostly vi(m) (and set -o vi in the shell);
however, I’ve never used evil mode. That’s probably because I didn’t
know about it when I was switching, but I think going cold turkey might
have helped (forced) me to learn emacs better. Anyone else do the switch
and find otherwise?
When I switched to emacs I would get extremely frustrated by the drop in productivity and having to look-up-everything. It really is hard to learn something new that is a covering for something you are already proficient in.
Evil Mode is a great escape hatch for not having to launch vim. See once you launch vim you can stay in vim (also true for evil mode). Switching to Evil mode is a more unobtrusive context switch.
I would stay in emacs, attempt to solve the problem and if I couldn’t do it in under 30 seconds to a minute, I would switch to Evil. Solve it with vim keybindings and then make a note to myself to solve this problem in emacs while I wasn’t under pressure.
For me, Evil helps.
When I made the switch about a year ago, I decided not to use Evil mode, because I would rather take the productivity hit and learn the emacs methods than fall back on vim keybindings, a tool from which I was trying to migrate. Similar to when people switch to vi(m), everyone says to take the productivity hit and always use h, j, k, and l rather than the arrow keys, until you learn it well enough where there’s no productivity gap. Same thing with emacs.
I just had a legal pad of paper next to my desk, and would keep around ten functions/commands (for instance: find and replace was on my list for a while [M-%]) scratched down. Whenever I decided I was proficient with one command, I would cross it off the list and add a new one. It made it easy to learn the things I would use pretty consistently, and I ended up with a list of 10 various commands that were extremely useful, but didn’t use them enough to have them memorized. It turned into a pretty handy reference!
Great technique, it looks like we took two paths to get to the same destination.
Hi! I’m the original author of the article. I guess the biggest obstacle for me wasn’t not knowing Emacs. I can use it without Evil Mode just fine, but with it I’m much much much faster. My style of work generally involves writing/moving the code around as I think, instead of just staring at the screen, and VIM is much faster at that (or VIM keybindings).
There is god-mode for Emacs, but I never really tried that, since Evil mode works perfectly for now :) It might be worth investigating though.
I hadn’t thought of that; in retrospect, it very much makes sense.
Thanks for pointing that out!
I used vim for a while (5-6 years) before switching to Emacs, before evil-mode existed. Because viper was so bad, I just learned the Emacs keybindings. I tried evil, but I got so used to Emacs that I’m pressing C-a, C-e, C-k all the time with ill effects. I basically just enable evil mode when I need to do some editing that I know is going to be faster with it (which is not very often considering how easy it is to create macros to perform the same task in Emacs). With that said, I encourage everyone to try evil-mode, it really is the most faithful vim emulation I’ve seen.
it really is the most faithful vim emulation I’ve seen.
Totally agree! It even fixes some long standing annoyances I have with vim, specifically the :set paste crap!.
I recently made the switch after ~10 years of vi(m) as well. Started out in evil-mode, but that didn’t last very long.. found it very difficult switching back and forth between the REPL. Loving it!
the other really good vim emulator, incidentally, is jvi [http://jvi.sourceforge.net/] - worth knowing about if you ever need to use a java ide