Use the right tool for the job, atom is big, vim can get big too.

The Story

The video above shows the conclusion to this post.

How it Starts

It started with atom. A hackable text editor I used because sublime was not doing it for me. I heard that there was a text editor that stood the test of time and increased developer productivity, one caveat – only those who are elite can use it. So much intrigue right? I quickly found out why it stood the test of time and that no, it was not only for the elite, just takes a lot of practice. For awhile I jumped back and forth from one to the other (atom to vim, vim to atom), mainly for reasons that I could not fully commit to vim as I was not productive.

The Problem

After awhile I committed to vim rm -rf /Applications/ (forcefully uninstalled atom) – no turning back. Things were going well, I was getting faster and better. Then it started to happen, plugins. I started installing plugins to make me more productive, language support, beautifiers, style guides. The straw that broke the camels back – vim-autocomplete. My .vim ended up being almost as large as my atom install with all the fixin’s, this is not including my macvim install.

The Solution

Just because elite developers use it for everything, does not mean we have to as junior developers. The biggest take away from this for me was always use the right tool for the job. If you are feel you need some crazy plugins for your text editor just to be productive, use the one that makes things easy. In my case, atom provides the javascript, and java beautifiers and linters that I have grown to love. So all in all, there really was not a big difference in install size between the two, I really was not getting everything I desired out of VIM; something was always missing.

P.S. I have not given up on VIM, I just pick my battles a little better these days.