Emacs Keybindings in Eclipse

by Tim O'Brien

A few years ago, I tried the Emacs keyboard mappings for Eclipse. I wasn't impressed, I think there were a few missing features, etc. But, I've been screwing up ever since. I constantly switch between Emacs and Eclipse. I use Emacs for everyday text editing, and I use Eclipse for some programming. I do prefer Emacs for most tasks, but, with some of today's programming languages, not using a tool like Eclipse with autocomplete and refactoring is a tedious exercise. Now with that being said, I do find myself programming Ruby in Emacs, maybe that say more about efficient language design than anything else.

I turned on the Emacs mappings for Eclipse today and was happily surprised. Suddenly the world made more sense. Instead of having to filter all of my instinctual keystrokes, I could search forward with CTRL-S and I didn't have to interact with some "search dialog". I could switch between buffers with CTRL-X, CTRL-B. Now, sure, I can't hit META-X and type in "5x5" or "zippy", but I'll take what I can get.

It's funny though....I didn't see the option to use VI key bindings in Emacs. Maybe the Eclipse Foundation realizes that vi is just wrong. :-) (I had to.)

On another note, doesn't it feel strange to read "a few years ago" and "Eclipse" in the same sentence?

Did I just write this blog entry so he could write "vi is just wrong"? I think I did.


2005-11-11 17:02:01
Maybe the Eclipse Foundation realizes that vi is just wrong.

Nah. They simply know that only the “Eight Megabytes And Constantly Swapping” crowd (back when 8MB was mindblowingly vast) would go for an IDE that gulps down with eighthundred megabytes like nothing. :-)