ZachIR's Blog - Vim In SPACE

Vim In SPACE! - Trying a Vim Distribution

I have been a *vim-exclusive user since the late 2010's, which (un-)coincidentally was around the time I switched full-time to Linux. Specifically, neovim is my weapon of choice (based purely on a cursory examination of the mission statement and repo).

After finding out about Free software from a Richard Stallman talk (how exactly I got to said talk was a journey inandof itself), which led me to learning about GNU, and specifically GNU Emacs. At that point, I considered myself something of a software minimalist, so I decided Emacs was too bloated for my to try. Then I heard about it again a couple years later, from Distrotube, and I thought about giving it a try. It seemed to run just as quickly as vim on his videos.

I specifically heard about a distribution of Emacs which he used, called Doom Emacs, which was vim-like, and this piqued my interest, so I installed Emacs on my Antergos install, git cloned the Doom Emacs repo into ~/.emacs.d (as one does), and finalized the install, before finally opening it up and--

it took forever to load. Which is fine, I know how it works, the first open time is the longest, so I messed around a little with the config, and then closed it without much thought. Then I opened it again to open some other config file (I forget what), and it still took a really long time, way longer than my beloved nvim. This is pretty much a nail in the coffin for most programs for me, unless it has some really strong benefits.

However, I do like the framework of Doom Emacs, three config files, each of which has a distinct purpose, which are all the user needs to interact with in order to configure everything. Even more, Doom Emacs has great documentation within the distribution itself, so you don't typically have to go to the internet to look up what the keybindings are.

This has led me to another thought: there is a conceptually similar distribution of vim, called SpaceVim (inspired by another distro, SpacEmacs), which should give me the best of both worlds: the great configuration framework, plus I can continue using my beloved nvim, plus I can have the same configuration in gvim, which is the editor Qutebrowser uses to edit the source code by default (at least for the jmatrix plugin).

This leads me to today's post: I am going to be taking a SpaceVim challenge, where I will be using the SpaceVim distribution as my one and only text editor for some period of time, until either I am totally comfortable with it, or I can no longer stand it.

Actually, I am writing this article using nvim using SpaceVim, and I have already found a couple pinch points, although I'm sure they will be easy to remove. One is that the autocomplete uses the Enter key by default, which is annoying when writing HTML, as pressing Enter once after the <p> tag (or any other tag) closes the autocomplete instead of adding another line, so I have to press Enter twice to do so.