talkative, friendly, programmer

Vim Survey Results

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I don’t normally find programming koans enlightening or amusing, there is one execption – which pretty much sums up my approach to vim:

Master Wq and the Markdown acolyte

A Markdown acolyte came to Master Wq to demonstrate his Vim plugin.

"See, master," he said, "I have nearly finished the Vim macros that translate Markdown into HTML.
My functions interweave, my parser is a paragon of efficiency, and the results nearly flawless.
I daresay I have mastered Vimscript, and my work will validate Vim as a modern editor for the enlightened developer!
Have I done rightly?"

Master Wq read the acolyte's code for several minutes without saying anything. Then he opened a Markdown document, and typed:

HTML filled the buffer instantly. The acolyte began to cry.

But I was starting to get the feeling that most vim users had loads of plugins installed – so I decided I wanted to find out if this was true.

20 minutes later I had hacked my way through a basic survey – which was full of holes and typos. Despite this I had over 1000 responses in 24 hours – which gives us our first ‘statistic’:

Vim users love talking about vim

So, here are the results. 1300 of you responded to the survey. Percentages have been rounded down to the nearest integer. Because I said so. Questions where the answers were freeform I’ve done my best to group. But it might not be perfect. Each question was optional so each question had a number of empty responses, I’ve left these out. This is why most percentages do not add up to 100%

I welcome others to take a look at the raw results: Link to Raw Data

Do you spend most of your time in vim or gvim?

I forgot about macvim, and had never heard of vim-qt – but thankfully most of you seemed to work out that my intention was – gui or terminal.

vim 946 72%

gvim 347 26%

How often do you use vim?

daily 1227 94%

weekly 54 4%

monthly 11 0.8%

The obligatory operating system question – Which do you use most?

The world is full of programmers using macs in coffee shops right?

linux 807 62%

os x 347 26%

windows 131 10%

freebsd 19 1%

One person said they used “your face” which is an odd choice as my face has very poor memory management.

What key do you have mapped as your leader key?

I’ve always just stuck with the default, althought I was aware that alot of people use ‘,’. Using space was new to me, but according to this it’s one of the most popular keys

comma 470 36%

backslash 309 23.7

none/ don’t use, never heard of leader 220 17%

space 169 13%

semicolon 13 1%

forward slash 12 0.9%

esc 11 0.8%

colon 8

underbar 5

ctrl 4

alt/ caps lock 2

How often do you make changes to your vimrc file?

montly 603 46%

weekly 459 35%

yearly 138 10%

daily 60 4%

no customisations 21 1%

When did you first use vim?

2010’s 613 47%

2000’s 505 38%

1990’s 162 12%

How many plugins do you have installed at the moment?

This is the question I really wanted answered. Thankfully it seems like most of us would rather have less plugins

Your favourite plugin?

ctrlp 171 13%

syntastic 59 4%

nerdtree 59 4%

youcompleteme 50 3%

fugitive 41 3%

airline 39 3%

surround 30 2%

vundle 30 2%

pathogen 24 1%

Do you remove plugins you no longer user?

yes 1009 77%

no 229 17%

What is your average typing speed?

61 – 80 391 30%

41 – 60 360 27%

> 80 344 26%

20 – 40 wpm 121 9%

< 20 wpm 8 1%

Roughly how many different computers will you use in a particular week?

6 – 10 143 11%

2 – 5 877 67%

> 10 122 9%

1 132 10%

Have you written a plugin?

no 1006 77%

yes – publicly available 121 9%

yes – kept it private 148 11%

Give me a single piece of advice

Some of it is great, some is crazy, you’re welcome to take a look at the raw results:

It’s all here

Your view of emacs?

never used emacs – don’t want to 498 38%

never used emacs – but willing to try 418 32%

i use it every now and again 221 17%

it’s another tool in my toolbox 113 8%

I spent a while trying to work out how to construct this question, what I was trying to work out is if the editor war really existed, I don’t use emacs, but I did, and there are some things I think it does better than vim, and some things it doesn’t. I spent ~2 years using emacs before moving to vim, I wanted to get a broad idea of how emacs is view by the vim community. The results were a suprise

That’s it

That’s all there is nothing more. I’m not great with statistics so I encourage others to take a look at the raw data and come up with a much better ‘analysis’. If anyone feels that the above is in some way worthy of a small tip here’s my btc address: