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Vishesh Duggar

CTO Software @vamstar. 15 years in tech. Entrepreneurial with a keen interest in product development and usability. Interested in working on high impact ideas.

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GGTS or STS or Eclipse or any other IDE for that matter is too bulky and slows your machine. But more importantly if you are someone like me who would rather use a keyboard than a mouse then using vim instead of an IDE is going to be even more fun. The speed with which I can manipulate files, check for syntax, format code and use information from git version history is pretty slick.

Some of the features that are absolutely fabulous within GGTS or STS include

  1. Content Assistant: suggests auto-completions as we type.
  2. Get declaration/implementation of variable/method in a single click (ctrl + click)
  3. Auto import and fix imports
  4. Git compare/commit files
  5. Searching within a project
  6. Renaming files, methods
  7. Project specific settings

Let us look at the alternatives available for each of these and how well one can do these things in Vim

Get declaration/implementation of variable/method in a single click (ctrl + click) and code completion

This can be done using Ctags, Tagbar and few .vimrc configurations.


For Mac OS X brew install ctags

For Debian-based systems sudo apt-get install exuberant-ctags

For Red Hat based systems sudo yum install ctags


Add the following to your .vimrc (Installing using vundle) Bundle majutsushi/tagbar

Keyboard shortcuts to find function and class definitions

Ctrl+] - go to definition Ctrl+T - Jump back from the definition. Ctrl+W Ctrl+] - Open the definition in a horizontal split

Add the following to .vimrc

map <C-\> :tab split<CR>:exec("tag ".expand("<cword>"))<CR>
map <A-]> :vsp <CR>:exec("tag ".expand("<cword>"))<CR>

Read more about ctags at.

Git compare/commit files.

Git support is pretty neat and the author of the plugin is not wrong in claiming this to be the best git wrapper of all time. Git grep, move, rename, checkout, diff and more. More info at github.

Searching within the project and optionally replace what matched or perform other operation

You can use git grep using fugitive again

:Ggrep [args]

The search results are listed in the quickfix list. Any operations can be performed on this list using Qdo command available in a neatly packaged plugin Qargs, inspired by a stackoverflow answer.

:Ggrep findme
:Qdo %s/findme/baz | update

This does require you to type the search string twice but does the job. The raw speed you get with vim for searching and other tasks is totally worth it.

Renaming a file

Find and open a file


Locate the file in NerdTree a file browser plugin


Once you located the file, press m to modify the filename

Auto import and fix imports

Again using vundle install the grails import plugin

Bundle 'sjurgemeyer/vim-grails-import

Project specific vim config

set exrc at the top of your .vimrc set secure at the very end of your .vimrc

More about project specific settings

Close to 15 years in tech; I've served as a CTO and advisor to multiple organizations. Brought close to 20 products to market. As a founding member of multiple organizations I've done everything from tech to stratgey, sales, marketing, hiring, accounting and more. Experience in a variety of technologies including but not limited to AWS, Node, React, Serverless, ElasticSearch, Groovy, Java, Typescript, Angular, Grails, PHP, Drupal, Wordpress.

Always interested in looking at new tech, strategy and ways I can add value to organizations.

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