Don’t Ruin Your Vi Muscle Memory

The whole point of using vi is so that you can edit files anywhere on any computer and device. Vimisms defeat this entirely by training your muscle memory to be dependent on things that other systems won’t have. (Might as well use Emacs if you are going to use them.) You won’t have your precious .vimrc (which is another reason to keep your Vim configuration rather light and easy to Secure Shell scp over to any system when needed and allowed).

Vimisms are the things Vim would have you do — or that people invent — that damage your ability to be productive on a system that has only Vi (not Vim). The tragedy is that most of these are not necessary and not even efficient but people just simply do not know the alternatives, which very frequently are some variation of the Vi magic wands. Please consider avoiding all of the following when using Vim.

Vimism Vi Alternative
Arrow keys hjkl as God intended
Visual mode Ex commands with :
Remapping ESC Use built-in Control with [
Vimscript Bash shell with variations of !
Split panes Use TMUX or Screen instead
Number Increments (C-a/x) Just change the number.

Table Vimism Alternatives

Few things anger experienced technologists who mentor others than seeing noobs corrupt other noobs muscle-memory with bad suggestions such as using these stupid customizations. They are not worth the cost in multi-system proficiency.