Skip to main content

Vim: jVi

jVi is a plugin for NetBeans that provides Vim-like key bindings. The good news is that it's close enough to be comfortable instead of frustrating. It's better than most Vi emulation modes (including the one in Komodo Edit) and it's way better than the key bindings provided by NetBeans (of course, that's a matter of opinion). The bad news is that certain key features like rectangular select (Cntl-v) and rewrapping block comments (gq}) don't work. So far, those are my two biggest complaints.

First of all, installing the plugin was painless. I downloaded it using my browser, unzipped it, and installed it via the Tools :: Plugins menu item in NetBeans. Easy peasy.

Next, I went down the list of complaints I had about the Vim key bindings in Komodo Edit and tried each of them in jVi. Many things were fixed. Some still didn't work. Here is a list of my discoveries:

Using ":e filename" to open a file doesn't work.

Using Cntl-o to go back to where you were previously works, but using Cntl-i to go forward doesn't work because NetBeans intercepts it.

By default, NetBeans knows that Python indents things by 4 spaces. However, jVi doesn't know this, so by default, it wants to indent things by a tab. I'm surprised that it doesn't make use of the NetBeans settings.

"cw tab tab tab" inserts three things into the undo list instead of one. Of course, this is just pedantic.

Strangely, using % to jump between ( and ) inside comments doesn't work, but it does work if you're not in a comment. No biggie.

To fix the indention settings, I instinctively typed "set sts=4 sw=4 et ai", which means "set the soft tab stops to 4, shift width to 4, emulate tabs, and auto indent." jVi said that "sts" and "ai" are not implemented. It doesn't matter because it does the right thing anyway.

The line in column 80 still works, which puts it ahead of Vim ;)

Things like code autocomplete and tips still work.

You can rewrap paragraphs using "gq". However, this doesn't work for block comments because the "#" at the beginning of each line gets messed up. Thankfully, I tend to have more docstrings than block comments.

Cntl-n (autocomplete the symbol being typed) works, which was a bit of a surprise.

Anyway, as I said earlier, it's not perfect, but it's close enough to make me happier than the default key bindings in NetBeans.


Anonymous said…
If you go to Tools > Options > Advanced, you can find the jVi options. Here you can configure which CTRL commands NetBeans intercepts. You can get CTRL+V to give you block editing.
jjinux said…
Thank you, thank you, thank you!
Brandon L. Golm said…
Okay JJ, enough about editors already! Back to programming and humor!
jjinux said…
> Okay JJ, enough about editors already! Back to programming and humor!

Oh, I didn't tell you? I'm going to become a Java programmer. All I have to do is find a really good IDE. Apparently, the rest is easy. From what I've seen, a sense of humor is not required

/me giggles
Brandon L. Golm said…
> I'm going to become a Java programmer. All I have to do is find a really good IDE.

I recommend Microsoft Word, just type "public class MyServer" and it will bring up a talking paperclip. He will say "It looks like you're trying to write a web server application in Java, let me help you."

Then you just follow some simple menus, and he will do all the work for you.
jjinux said…
There's no silver bullet--just really smart paperclips ;)

Popular posts from this blog

Ubuntu 20.04 on a 2015 15" MacBook Pro

I decided to give Ubuntu 20.04 a try on my 2015 15" MacBook Pro. I didn't actually install it; I just live booted from a USB thumb drive which was enough to try out everything I wanted. In summary, it's not perfect, and issues with my camera would prevent me from switching, but given the right hardware, I think it's a really viable option. The first thing I wanted to try was what would happen if I plugged in a non-HiDPI screen given that my laptop has a HiDPI screen. Without sub-pixel scaling, whatever scale rate I picked for one screen would apply to the other. However, once I turned on sub-pixel scaling, I was able to pick different scale rates for the internal and external displays. That looked ok. I tried plugging in and unplugging multiple times, and it didn't crash. I doubt it'd work with my Thunderbolt display at work, but it worked fine for my HDMI displays at home. I even plugged it into my TV, and it stuck to the 100% scaling I picked for the othe

ERNOS: Erlang Networked Operating System

I've been reading Dreaming in Code lately, and I really like it. If you're not a dreamer, you may safely skip the rest of this post ;) In Chapter 10, "Engineers and Artists", Alan Kay, John Backus, and Jaron Lanier really got me thinking. I've also been thinking a lot about Minix 3 , Erlang , and the original Lisp machine . The ideas are beginning to synthesize into something cohesive--more than just the sum of their parts. Now, I'm sure that many of these ideas have already been envisioned within , LLVM , Microsoft's Singularity project, or in some other place that I haven't managed to discover or fully read, but I'm going to blog them anyway. Rather than wax philosophical, let me just dump out some ideas: Start with Minix 3. It's a new microkernel, and it's meant for real use, unlike the original Minix. "This new OS is extremely small, with the part that runs in kernel mode under 4000 lines of executable code.&quo

Haskell or Erlang?

I've coded in both Erlang and Haskell. Erlang is practical, efficient, and useful. It's got a wonderful niche in the distributed world, and it has some real success stories such as CouchDB and Haskell is elegant and beautiful. It's been successful in various programming language competitions. I have some experience in both, but I'm thinking it's time to really commit to learning one of them on a professional level. They both have good books out now, and it's probably time I read one of those books cover to cover. My question is which? Back in 2000, Perl had established a real niche for systems administration, CGI, and text processing. The syntax wasn't exactly beautiful (unless you're into that sort of thing), but it was popular and mature. Python hadn't really become popular, nor did it really have a strong niche (at least as far as I could see). I went with Python because of its elegance, but since then, I've coded both p