The Chronicle

of a ColdFusion Expatriate

Evil Mode

June 03, 2015

“Evil Mode, or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Emacs”

That was the title of the talk that I gave at the Boston Vim Meetup group. As you all may know, I was a Vim user for 15 years and I’ve been attending the Boston Vim meetups for quite a while, so this was an interesting experience for me.

I think it might be an interesting experience for you, too, so I’m posting the video here so you can all enjoy it in the privacy of your own homes!

The goal of this talk was to explore some of the features that the Vim user community at large seems to value (asynchronous operations, etc.) as demonstrated by the NeoVim project (a self-described “ambitious fork” of Vim), and how Emacs provides those features already.

In the talk, I mention “Vim emulators” in an attempt to point out that even vehement Vim users are happy to use “Vim-like” interfaces in other programs because it is the modal approach and semantic key mappings that they love; not Vim the program itself.

That was, admittedly, not a rigorous exploration of Vim’s heritage, and may have given Vim more credit than it was due. In point of fact, interfaces such as bash or zsh’s “vi mode” are emulating vi more than they are Vim.

Nevertheless, these UI conventions are powerful, and Evil Mode brings them to you in as much completeness as I have seen anywhere outside of vi or Vim itself.