Lucas Zuege's Blog

Trying out Neovim

For as long as I can remember, I have mainly used VSCodium (a non-telemetry version of VSCode) for PowerShell, Markdown, and any other programming I may do. However, one thing I am not a fan of, is that VSCodium is electron-based.

Electron has always been something that I have been fascinated by, but also not a huge fan of.

It created an easy way for programs to run cross-platform. But, Electron is a HUGE resource hog.

Even though I am not hurting for resources on my computer (Ryzen 9 5900HS with 16GB of RAM), it is still using quite a bit. More than I would like. So, for awhile now, I have always wanted to switch to a code editor that is not electron-based, but unfortunately, the support for many of them are not the greatest.

One of the main contenders was sublimetext, however, the more I looked into it, the more it was not going to fit for my use case.

So, I continued to look every now and then, until I finally found something I was willing to try.

Enter Neovim

Ever since I started using Linux, I have always preferred using vim over other text editors such as nano. Vim was always my go to first install when setting up a Linux server. However, when I started using Linux for my Desktop OS, I always strayed away from using console-based text editors.

I guess this was because of being used to using things such as PowerShell ISE and VSCode prior to switching to Linux, and also using them daily on my Work laptop/VDI. So, I would always install VSCodium and use that.

As much as I love VSCodium, I really wanted to switch away.

Vim has always been a meme to me in the Linux community. When people ask for best code editor, Vim was almost always mentioned. However, as a DVORAK typist, learning the Vim shortcuts seems like a chore.

But, after reading a bit into it, I decided to take the leap into vim.

Vim by itself wouldn't do, though. Instead, I found Neovim, and decided to give that a try.

The setup process was not pretty. I just spent the last hour setting it up, installing plugins, and making it look a bit better, thanks to this wonderful post. Even though I spent an hour setting up Neovim. I feel like I still have a lot more configurations to accomplish before I am completely done.

But, I am currently using Neovim to type out this post, so it is working enough.

What I like about Neovim

So far, Neovim is both simplistic, and complicated at the same time.

As I sit here typing, my window is pretty straight forward. I have a file tree on the left hand side of my terminal, and my text on the right side. Nothing else.

But, if you look into it a little closer, you will find that I have text suggestions enabled, I have better code highlighting, and more. The next thing I need to look into is Markdown Preview, if I feel that it is something I should get. I also want to see if there is some sort of spell checking. As much as I'd like to say I am wonderful at grammar... I'm not...

Neovim is also quick. Like REALLY quick. I can navigate through my folders, access files, and edit them without needing to wait even a single second. VSCodium, on the other hand, took its sweet time opening some of my files. It is rather nice that I can just select a file, and it is available for me to type in right away.

What I dislike about Neovim

My major gripe with Neovim is the amount of time you need to spend learning it. Not only do you need to learn the shortcuts and commands of Vim, but you also need to learn how to properly configure Neovim. Thankfully, there are a handful of guides online on how to do this. But, it is still annoying.

As time goes on, I am sure I will better understand Neovim, and it will make using it a heck of a lot easier. But, since I just installed it and only touched the surface, I feel that I have a long way to go.

Final thoughts

I will continue to use Neovim for awhile. Unfortunately, I do not believe I will be able to set it up successfully on my work computer, as I do not have admin access to the computer. So, I will likely continue to use VSCodium for work. But, for writing in this blog, and programming on my home computer, I will definitely be using Neovim.

#Personal #Programming