Vim vs Visual Studio Code

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Vim vs Visual Studio Code: What are the differences?

Vim: Highly configurable text editor built to enable efficient text editing. Vim is an advanced text editor that seeks to provide the power of the de-facto Unix editor 'Vi', with a more complete feature set. Vim is a highly configurable text editor built to enable efficient text editing. It is an improved version of the vi editor distributed with most UNIX systems. Vim is distributed free as charityware; Visual Studio Code: Build and debug modern web and cloud applications, by Microsoft. Build and debug modern web and cloud applications. Code is free and available on your favorite platform - Linux, Mac OSX, and Windows.

Vim and Visual Studio Code can be categorized as "Text Editor" tools.

"Comes by default in most unix systems (remote editing)", "Fast" and "Highly configurable" are the key factors why developers consider Vim; whereas "Powerful multilanguage IDE", "Fast" and "Front-end develop out of the box" are the primary reasons why Visual Studio Code is favored.

Visual Studio Code is an open source tool with 78.4K GitHub stars and 10.9K GitHub forks. Here's a link to Visual Studio Code's open source repository on GitHub.

PedidosYa, Yahoo!, and triGo GmbH are some of the popular companies that use Visual Studio Code, whereas Vim is used by Lyft, Starbucks, and PedidosYa. Visual Studio Code has a broader approval, being mentioned in 1104 company stacks & 2298 developers stacks; compared to Vim, which is listed in 844 company stacks and 860 developer stacks.

Advice on Vim and Visual Studio Code
Rogério R. Alcântara
Needs advice
on
VimVim
and
NeovimNeovim

For a Visual Studio Code/Atom developer that works mostly with Node.js/TypeScript/Ruby/Go and wants to get rid of graphic-text-editors-IDE-like at once, which one is worthy of investing time to pick up?

I'm a total n00b on the subject, but I've read good things about Neovim's Lua support, and I wonder what would be the VIM response/approach for it?

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Replies (6)
Recommends
VimVimNeovimNeovim

Neovim can basically do everything Vim can with one major advantage - the number of contributors to the code base is just so much wider (Vim is ~100% maintained only by B. Mooleanaar). Whatever you learn for Neovim you can also apply to Vim and vice versa. And of course there is the never ending Vim vs Emacs controversy - but better not get into that war.

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Jeffrey Johnson
Recommends
at

Actually, the biggest advantage with Neovim (as a VS user) is that you can embed REAL Neovim as the editor UI, rather than using a "Vim emulation", you're using actual NVIM, embedded in VS!

"asvetliakov.vscode-neovim" is the extension you are looking for:

  1. Install the 'vscode-neovim; extension (https://marketplace.visualstudio.com/items?itemName=asvetliakov.vscode-neovim)
  2. Install Neovim version 0.5+ nightly
  3. Start winning.

(You can install neovim-nightly separately for just vscode, I usually build and install it to /opt/nvim - it's enough enough to do - let me know if you need help).

Works wonderfully. It might not work out of the box if you have some 100K epic nvim initialization file, but the plugin documents a workaround for having an embedding/VS specific configuration.

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Kudos Beluga
Recommends
NeovimNeovim

I don't actually notice much of a difference between the two, as the end result looks identical. If you use Vim and are switch to Neovim it's an extremely easy 1-minute process. I switched from Vim to Neovim. I can't say I found much of a difference, but the key points where Neovim could be better than just vim is that first, there are much more people maintaining Neovim compared to vim, which means fewer bugs and a modern code base. It also has a smaller code base which might result in a small speed improvement. Another thing is that it's basically just a fork of vim, so what harm can it do? ;)

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Tarcísio Gruppi
Recommends
VimVim

I recommend using vim 8+ it has native plugin support if you need language supports you can install the package vim-nox which will come with support for python, lua, ruby, etc

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Rogério R. Alcântara
Recommends
NeovimNeovim

The hints on the codebase's contributors and the VSCode integration helped me make up my mind.

I really appreciate all comments, though.

Thanks a bunch!

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Albert Kim
Recommends

It truly depends on whether you want to completely avoid GUI and stick to TUI and command lines. If you want to edit all of your codes within a terminal, then Vim or neovim would be the choice. Emacs can be run in a terminal, but the functionality is limited. Most people use Emacs using GUI and emacs-client not to use too much memory.

My general preference is to use an independent text editor, which is better if it is highly customizable and programmable. So, I have used Emacs for several years. For beginners, I guess Emacs requires significant time to learn to fully enjoy its wonderful functionalities. In that sense, using atom would be a recommendable option.

Regardless of all the situations, learning basic vim in the terminal will help you in any case. In summary, I recommend 1. vim as a default editor in the terminal 2. atom if you are a beginner, or 3. Emacs if you have a long-term plan to master a programmable editor

Other editors like sublime text, VS code, and so forth are also worth learning and using. But, no matter which editor you choose, stick to one or two until you become an advanced user. Being able to use most text editors at an intermediate level is waste of time.

I hope it helps.

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Decisions about Vim and Visual Studio Code
Samriddhi Sinha
Machine Learning Engineer at Chefling · | 6 upvotes · 496.5K views

Lightweight and versatile. Huge library of extensions that enable you to integrate a host of services to your development environment. VS Code's biggest strength is its library of extensions which enables it to directly compete with every single major IDE for almost all major programming languages.

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Kamaleshwar BN
Head of Engineering at Dibiz Pte. Ltd. · | 12 upvotes · 733.8K views

Visual Studio Code became famous over the past 3+ years I believe. The clean UI, easy to use UX and the plethora of integrations made it a very easy decision for us. Our gripe with Sublime was probably only the UX side. VSCode has not failed us till now, and still is able to support our development env without any significant effort.

Goland being paid, as well as built only for Go seemed like a significant limitation to not consider it.

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Simon Ibssa
Student at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo · | 2 upvotes · 662.7K views

I decided to choose VSCode over Sublime text for my Systems Programming class in C. What I love about VSCode is its awesome ability to add extensions. Intellisense is a beautiful debugger, and Remote SSH allows me to login and make real-time changes in VSCode to files on my university server. This is an awesome alternative to going back and forth on pushing/pulling code and logging into servers in the terminal. Great choice for anyone interested in C programming!

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Pros of Vim
Pros of Visual Studio Code
  • 343
    Comes by default in most unix systems (remote editing)
  • 324
    Fast
  • 310
    Highly configurable
  • 293
    Less mouse dependence
  • 242
    Lightweight
  • 141
    Speed
  • 98
    Plugins
  • 94
    Hardcore
  • 80
    It's for pros
  • 64
    Vertically split windows
  • 26
    Open-source
  • 23
    Modal editing
  • 21
    No remembering shortcuts, instead "talks" to the editor
  • 19
    It stood the Test of Time
  • 14
    Unicode
  • 11
    VimPlugins
  • 11
    Stick with terminal
  • 11
    Dotfiles
  • 11
    Everything is on the keyboard
  • 10
    Flexible Indenting
  • 9
    Programmable
  • 8
    Hands stay on the keyboard
  • 8
    Large number of Shortcuts
  • 8
    Efficient and powerful
  • 7
    Modal editing changes everything
  • 7
    Because its not Emacs
  • 7
    Unmatched productivity
  • 7
    Everywhere
  • 7
    A chainsaw for text editing
  • 6
    Super fast
  • 6
    You cannot exit
  • 6
    Themes
  • 6
    Makes you a true bearded developer
  • 6
    Developer speed
  • 4
    Most and most powerful plugins of any editor
  • 4
    Shortcuts
  • 4
    Habit
  • 4
    Shell escapes and shell imports :!<command> and !!cmd
  • 4
    Great on large text files
  • 4
    Intergrated into most editors
  • 4
    Plugin manager options. Vim-plug, Pathogen, etc
  • 4
    EasyMotion
  • 3
    Intuitive, once mastered
  • 2
    Perfect command line editor
  • 326
    Powerful multilanguage IDE
  • 291
    Fast
  • 183
    Front-end develop out of the box
  • 151
    Support TypeScript IntelliSense
  • 135
    Very basic but free
  • 115
    Git integration
  • 100
    Intellisense
  • 72
    Faster than Atom
  • 46
    Better ui, easy plugins, and nice git integration
  • 41
    Great Refactoring Tools
  • 38
    Good Plugins
  • 37
    Terminal
  • 36
    Superb markdown support
  • 33
    Open Source
  • 28
    Extensions
  • 25
    Awesome UI
  • 25
    Large & up-to-date extension community
  • 22
    Powerful and fast
  • 20
    Portable
  • 16
    Best code editor
  • 16
    Best editor
  • 15
    Easy to get started with
  • 14
    Built on Electron
  • 14
    Crossplatform
  • 14
    Open, cross-platform, fast, monthly updates
  • 14
    Good for begginers
  • 13
    Lots of extensions
  • 12
    Extensions for everything
  • 12
    All Languages Support
  • 11
    Extensible
  • 11
    Ui design is great
  • 11
    Easy to use and learn
  • 11
    Faster edit for slow computer
  • 11
    Totally customizable
  • 11
    Useful for begginer
  • 10
    "fast, stable & easy to use"
  • 10
    Git out of the box
  • 9
    Great community
  • 9
    Great language support
  • 9
    It has terminal and there are lots of shortcuts in it
  • 8
    Fast Startup
  • 8
    SSH support
  • 8
    Works With Almost EveryThing You Need
  • 8
    Powerful Debugger
  • 7
    Can compile and run .py files
  • 7
    Python extension is fast
  • 7
    Features rich
  • 7
    Great document formater
  • 6
    She is not Rachel
  • 6
    He is not Michael
  • 6
    Awesome multi cursor support
  • 5
    Extension Echosystem
  • 5
    SFTP Workspace
  • 5
    Easy azure
  • 5
    VSCode.pro Course makes it easy to learn
  • 5
    Language server client
  • 4
    Very proffesional
  • 4
    Has better support and more extentions for debugging
  • 3
    Excellent as git difftool and mergetool
  • 3
    Virtualenv integration
  • 3
    Supports lots of operating systems
  • 3
    Has more than enough languages for any developer
  • 3
    Emmet preinstalled
  • 3
    'batteries included'
  • 2
    More tools to integrate with vs
  • 2
    VS Code Server: Browser version of VS Code
  • 2
    Fast and ruby is built right in
  • 2
    Better autocompletes than Atom
  • 2
    Light
  • 2
    CMake support with autocomplete
  • 1
    Big extension marketplace

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Cons of Vim
Cons of Visual Studio Code
  • 7
    Ugly UI
  • 4
    Hard to learn
  • 1
    It's not Emacs
  • 39
    Slow startup
  • 23
    Resource hog at times
  • 19
    Poor refactoring
  • 13
    Poor UI Designer
  • 11
    Weak Ui design tools
  • 9
    Poor autocomplete
  • 8
    Microsoft
  • 7
    Poor in PHP
  • 5
    Poor at Python
  • 4
    Super Slow
  • 4
    Poor intellisense. poor java
  • 3
    No built in live Preview
  • 3
    Microsoft sends telemetry data
  • 3
    No Built in Browser Preview
  • 3
    Dilshad
  • 3
    No color Intergrator
  • 3
    Poor in Python
  • 3
    Very basic for java development and buggy at times
  • 3
    Huge cpu usage with few installed extension
  • 2
    Bad Plugin Architecture
  • 1
    Terminal does not identify path vars sometimes
  • 1
    Electron

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What is Vim?

Vim is an advanced text editor that seeks to provide the power of the de-facto Unix editor 'Vi', with a more complete feature set. Vim is a highly configurable text editor built to enable efficient text editing. It is an improved version of the vi editor distributed with most UNIX systems. Vim is distributed free as charityware.

What is Visual Studio Code?

Build and debug modern web and cloud applications. Code is free and available on your favorite platform - Linux, Mac OSX, and Windows.

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What companies use Vim?
What companies use Visual Studio Code?
See which teams inside your own company are using Vim or Visual Studio Code.
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What tools integrate with Visual Studio Code?

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What are some alternatives to Vim and Visual Studio Code?
Emacs
GNU Emacs is an extensible, customizable text editor—and more. At its core is an interpreter for Emacs Lisp, a dialect of the Lisp programming language with extensions to support text editing.
Neovim
Neovim is a project that seeks to aggressively refactor Vim in order to: simplify maintenance and encourage contributions, split the work between multiple developers, enable the implementation of new/modern user interfaces without any modifications to the core source, and improve extensibility with a new plugin architecture.
Atom
At GitHub, we're building the text editor we've always wanted. A tool you can customize to do anything, but also use productively on the first day without ever touching a config file. Atom is modern, approachable, and hackable to the core. We can't wait to see what you build with it.
Notepad++
Notepad++ is a free (as in "free speech" and also as in "free beer") source code editor and Notepad replacement that supports several languages. Running in the MS Windows environment, its use is governed by GPL License.
Sublime Text
Sublime Text is available for OS X, Windows and Linux. One license is all you need to use Sublime Text on every computer you own, no matter what operating system it uses. Sublime Text uses a custom UI toolkit, optimized for speed and beauty, while taking advantage of native functionality on each platform.
See all alternatives