I am a full time programmer, beginning back in 1992 but in the past 5 years or so I have had on and off pain in my wrists and left elbow. When it first started, I got smart and did all sorts of things to my work area and that solved the problems. Since then I have grown lax and the pain has been back, on and off again. Hence, I’m doing something about it again.

Over the past 7 years or so I have used Vim on and off. I am not a newbie but far, far, far from an expert. To help reduce the amount of key wacking in a given day, I am moving back to Vim. These days I program mostly in Tcl, Python, HTML and JavaScript. Thus, I have found some plugins that really make things nice.

In alphabetical order:

  • ack - an advanced and fast grep system
  • AutoTag - generates a new tags file on save, intelligently.
  • ctrlp.vim - fuzzy file, buffer and tag switcher
  • pytest.vim - integrates my testing right in Vim
  • pyflakes - real time feedback on my code as I type, problems, suggestions,
  • ropevim - refactoring for Python right in Vim
  • SimpylFold - folding methods geared for Python code, which isn’t always the
    easiest to fold.
  • supertab - links together all sorts of methods to complete code, less
  • vim-flake8 - Python lint checker
  • vim-fugitive - Git integration with Vim
  • UltiSnips - Simply the best snippet system that exists today

My .vim files are sure to be changing quite a lot in the next few months, but they are available for all to see: github.com/jcowgar/dotvim

I’ll be writing more on Vim and my setup as time permits. I do not plan on spending much time talking about how to install or configure the plugins, there are plenty of places on the web that can help you there. I do, however, plan on writing how Vim is helping me type less with less strenuous key commands and how these plugins help in that venture.