Vim is a console-based text editor that has been around for 27 years (actually its a clone from vi that is 43 years old). Today, people still use and enjoy Vim.
Vim is not so bad when it comes to writing, but when it comes to coding there are arguably much sleeker GUI-based tools like Sublime, Visual Code, Atom, IntelliJ, etc.
And yet, as of 2018 there were still 17% of people using vim with Go, although that number as been in decline. This is particularly surprising to me because vim lacks a lot of useful GUI features (minimap, easy navigation between files). Also surprising Golang is becoming more popular even though it is not free (and quite expensive).
Still, I tried doing some coding with Vim. And, I like it! I like it enough to do it a lot. The features that I thought I would miss - like autocompletion, and easy building/testing from command-line - are really easy to do in Vim. Its definitely now part of my toolset, especially when I just need to edit a single file.
If you want to try using Go with Vim, here’s how you get started.
Instructions for setting up Vim with Go
There are multiple ways to do this, but I’m going to just write about a simple, easy method I found here.
$ git clone https://github.com/fatih/vim-go.git ~/.vim/pack/plugins/start/vim-go $ mkdir -p ~/.vim/colors $ curl https://raw.githubusercontent.com/tomasr/molokai/master/colors/molokai.vim > ~/.vim/colors/molokai.vim
Then, just create a
~/.vimrc with the following:
set nocompatible " Enables us Vim specific features filetype off " Reset filetype detection first ... filetype plugin indent on " ... and enable filetype detection set ttyfast " Indicate fast terminal conn for faster redraw set ttymouse=xterm2 " Indicate terminal type for mouse codes set ttyscroll=3 " Speedup scrolling set laststatus=2 " Show status line always set encoding=utf-8 " Set default encoding to UTF-8 set autoread " Automatically read changed files set autoindent " Enabile Autoindent set backspace=indent,eol,start " Makes backspace key more powerful. set incsearch " Shows the match while typing set hlsearch " Highlight found searches set noerrorbells " No beeps set number " Show line numbers set showcmd " Show me what I'm typing set noswapfile " Don't use swapfile set nobackup " Don't create annoying backup files set splitright " Vertical windows should be split to right set splitbelow " Horizontal windows should split to bottom set autowrite " Automatically save before :next, :make etc. set hidden " Buffer should still exist if window is closed set fileformats=unix,dos,mac " Prefer Unix over Windows over OS 9 formats set noshowmatch " Do not show matching brackets by flickering set noshowmode " We show the mode with airline or lightline set ignorecase " Search case insensitive... set smartcase " ... but not it begins with upper case set completeopt=menu,menuone " Show popup menu, even if there is one entry set pumheight=10 " Completion window max size set nocursorcolumn " Do not highlight column (speeds up highlighting) set nocursorline " Do not highlight cursor (speeds up highlighting) set lazyredraw " Wait to redraw " Enable to copy to clipboard for operations like yank, delete, change and put " http://stackoverflow.com/questions/20186975/vim-mac-how-to-copy-to-clipboard-without-pbcopy if has('unnamedplus') set clipboard^=unnamed set clipboard^=unnamedplus endif " This enables us to undo files even if you exit Vim. if has('persistent_undo') set undofile set undodir=~/.config/vim/tmp/undo// endif " Colorscheme syntax enable set t_Co=256 let g:rehash256 = 1 let g:molokai_original = 1 colorscheme molokai let g:go_fmt_command = "goimports" let g:go_autodetect_gopath = 1 let g:go_list_type = "quickfix" let g:go_highlight_types = 1 let g:go_highlight_fields = 1 let g:go_highlight_functions = 1 let g:go_highlight_function_calls = 1 let g:go_highlight_extra_types = 1 let g:go_highlight_generate_tags = 1
Then open up a
.go file. Note: if you are not in a
GOPATH or using a module, then some things like autocompletion will not work!
esc and then type
and press enter.
Using Go in Vim
A lot of stuff is done automatically. For instance, whenever you save you will automatically be formatting with
To build a file you can save (
:w!) and then you can run a program directly while editing using:
:! go build -v; ./program --debug
You can also use pre-built commands, say
You can pull up hints for functions by hitting