Lot of folks talking about vim lately. I really like the idea of a consistent, cross platform text editor, and I’m a vi person from way back. But I’m also very hooked on TextMate, and some of the great bundles, particularly the markdown and multimarkdown support. So:
Is there a markdown mode?
And the real question is, can it do previews easily? I’d like to get that same multimarkdown function that I have in textmate working in vim. So far, I’ve not found a way to do live preview, but the truth is, if I really needed the live preview, I’d stick with a WYSIWYG type editor. The whole point of sticking to text and easy markdown formatting is to get away from the formatting distractions.
Checking the output isn’t complicated. I keep my text files in a dropbox folder (so I can access them on the iPad/iPhone with simplenote and notesy). With multimarkdown installed, just running the current file through the multimarkdown command outputs the file with an .html extension. Pass the current file to the command using the percent sign (%).
:! mmd %
What about tag matching?
Tag matching in Textmate is nice, but it does often get me into trouble. I often find myself removing the additions and making manual fixes.
To be honest, I haven’t missed it yet.
Must have plugins and making the darn thing look nice
The janus package contains a bunch of very handy plugins. So check it out. It also includes a bunch of themes. I haven’t picked a favorite yet. Still experimenting.
Not sure if this will be needed. Textmate doesn’t have an autosave feature, but I’ve gotten into the habit of hitting cmd-s at any break. The standard Mac keyboard shortcuts work in MacVIM, but of course, so do the standard vim commands. So at any break, I now just hit esc-:w to save.
Speaking of keyboard shortcuts, moving around without the mouse doesn’t come much easier than the vi world. After installing, simply walk through the vimtutor tutorial and in no time, you’ll be flying all over documents making any needed changes or adjustments.
Sites and Tutorials
There are some great sites to check out. I would suggest starting with Daniel Fischer’s blog post, “A Starting Guide to VIM from Textmate.” He will get you setup with MacVIM and the great Janus build of plugins.
That’s it for now. I’ll post updates as I get a chance to write more.