Jach's personal blog

(Largely containing a mind-dump to myselves: past, present, and future)
Current favorite quote: "Supposedly smart people are weirdly ignorant of Bayes' Rule." William B Vogt, 2010

Just let me type

I like typing. Many programmers don't seem to, but that's ok, we still manage to work together. Except I basically have to use Eclipse for work. (Some people use IntelliJ but I've tried it, it's not sufficiently different or better for my work use-case...) And Eclipse frequently gets in the way of me just typing. I know there are things I could do to alleviate it, but I shouldn't have to!

For example, I want to add braces around a lambda to expand it to a more complicated lambda. I move the cursor to the start of the lambda body, type '{', and... I get a '{' at the end of the line. Syntax error, not what I wanted... I'm still not sure how I eventually got my brace there but it totally took me out of my thought processes to solve this error.

Other times, the whole UI will lock up as I'm typing due to the intelli-sense stuff. I type . and try to type the method name, but it locks up. I'm not even pressing ctrl+space to have it autocomplete, it can still lock up. The worst is when it "can't find a completion" and has to pop up a dialog telling me about that after I waited for many seconds, and I know the completion exists, but some issue has made Eclipse unable to find it which usually resolves with some form of restarting/project nuking.

I'd prefer to just use vim. Vim lets me type. If there's some issue with typing speed (and I've experienced those) it's almost certainly due to some auto-syntax plugin that I can disable or find a better version of.

Maybe there's a way to use vim at work, to be honest I haven't tried very hard for at least a couple years. Work is uniquely different in its giant java project, compared to previous work where with a smaller (and better organized) java project I could get by with vim just fine. For me, a nice sweet spot is a project that's so relatively easy to extend that I almost never need to use a debugger. And with such a project, I'm ok booting up eclipse/netbeans/intellij every now and again just for the debugger facility. Perhaps there's a new vim project to let me debug in vim just as nicely (or close) with eclipse? It would ideally support hotswapping too with that open source jrebel clone...

I've tried the various eclipse/vim integrations and didn't like them.

The other thing I need to use vim at work is smarter intelli-sense. With eclipse I don't have to regenerate ctags (eclipse rebuilds its indexes all the time, and sometimes I have to wait for it, but I don't have to tell it to go do so), it finds stuff in jars, it finds dependencies (like Slamhound) to import, etc. But it's really useful to query things like "Who calls, who references, who writes, who reads, what's the type hierarchy (find implementation(s))" and so on in a large complicated project.

If I had those two things I think I could make it work. As for now, I just get sad when I can't simply type.

Posted on 2017-11-16 by Jach

Tags: rant


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