Thursday, June 4, 2009

Vim + Eclipse = Eclim

I know some of you may consider this to sacrilegious, but a lot of programmers are subjected to using Eclipse from time to time for various reasons. For those of you that need Eclipse for a given plugin, debugging session, or what have you, the Eclim project provides a flexible solution for integrating Vim with Eclipse.

Using Eclim gives you three options for how you'd like to integrate Vim and Eclipse. The least intrusive allows you to run a headless Eclipse and control it via Vim. This makes Eclipse act as sort of an app server, which Vim can pipe to and from.

The second option allows you to run both programs side by side. This way, Vim is still running standalone, but you can control Eclipse directly should you need to.

The final option allows you to embed Vim directly into Eclipse. You'll lose some screen real estate when using this option, but it may suit certain people's needs.

I'm not really a fan of Eclipse by any stretch of the imagination, but for things like Java debugging, it does offer some utility, so if you're in the same boat, you should give Eclim a try.


Pento said...

Strange pair =)

dwright1 said...

awesome, thanks for posting this.

I use vim, gvim/MacVim most of the time but every now and then I look at what's new in IDE land.

While there are often new 'advances' and interesting things going on, I always miss my vim bindings and functionality (by 'bindings' I mean the ability to jump into edit mode, and operate completely mouse less when desired, visual highlighting, etc)

There was a project that offered vim bindings for eclipse but it wasn't FOSS.

IDE-wise, PIDA is pretty cool too, in the vim interoperability (it's still a fairly 'new' project, so it doesn't offer much you cant get with vim via plug ins)

dwright1 said...

Odd, I just saw that out I had del.ic.ious-ed this a while ago but forgotten about it,...

Jeff said...

I'm a heavy user of both Vim and Eclipse separately, so when I first heard about Eclim I thought it would be perfect for me. That was not the case, though. I found that no matter which way I used it, I was sacrificing one tool's features. It was not really practical for that reason, but admittedly I didn't use it for long. Really, I'd just like to have Vim's full key bindings and navigation in Eclipse, with user options for resolving the (probably many) conflicting bindings.

Nick said...

I use gvim/MacVim as well for most development. When I use Eclipse I have for a long time settled on the great plugin viplugin, which is a respectable vi implementation.

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