.bashrc is your scout badges

In the Scouts you get badges for the things you learn, and you show them off by wearing them on your sleeve, once a parent has stitched them on.

Lately I’ve started curating aliases in bashrc. For anyone who hasn’t used it, it’s a file in which you can store settings for controlling your computer, including abbreviated versions of commands you use a lot (aliases). Some people like to share these files, or snippets from them, to give other programmers ideas for which shortcuts to include in their own collection.

The nature of the file lends itself well to this sharing. You do the work of learning some new command, practise using it until it is part of your everyday toolkit, and then make a shorter reference to it. These references become a list of what you know and can do, and a neat little resume of your command line experience.

Vim in Atom

I installed Atom today as I needed some kind of IDE without forking over a lot of money, or spending time on configuring something. This meant trusting the claim that it works straight out of the box.

Later as I considered whether or not I would use it beyond the one task I needed it for, I googled “vim in atom”. This made me realise that I’ve become acclimatised to Vim to the point that I want its functionality in anything I use, and also begin to wonder why I didn’t just stick to using “vim in vim“.

Luckily, the search results page contained answers to both of these questions.

Why do I use Vim? Partly to score NeckbeardHacker kudos from Unix greybeards, but mainly because it allows you to compose commands so neatly from smaller “words”, as discussed in Why Atom Can’t Replace Vim by Mike Kozlowski. Having become used to hitting commands for “delete three words” (d3w) and suchlike, it’s hardly desirable to go back to Ctrl+This+That shortcuts.

But I’m not a Vim power-user, and as such I want more. Thus, my second question; why don’t I just use vanilla Vim? It lacks a shiny GUI, with lovely nested directory trees, and the plays-well-with-others style of a typical modern IDE. And so I’m waiting for a suitable neovim, or until then, Vim in Atom.