ViEmu and Suites

ViEmu is a Visual Studio Package which adds Vim keybinding support into Visual Studio.  For former VI users this is huge benefit as I can use all of my cryptic key combinations inside of Visual Studio.

For those unfamiliar, Vi is one of the original editors for the Unix operating systems.  Vim (VI iMproved) is a set of improvements on the original Vi editor.  At it's core Vi/Vim is a modal editor which means that it has multiple modes of input.  Mainly there are

  1. Command - allows you to enter commands to the editor
  2. Edit -modifying the text

Getting started with Vi/Vim is quite a challenge because the learning curve is incredibly steep.  Once you get it down though you can accomplish a whole lot more with just a few key strokes.  ViEmu brings this power into Visual Studio.

The only downside is that ViEmu dramatically alters the way keystrokes affect the environment.  This is a really interferes when I need to run code suites on my machine as it will cause any that use keystrokes to fail. 

Again, PowerShell is the answer.  I just disable ViEmu while suites are running on my machine and quickly re-enable them afterwards. 

function Enable-ViEmu()
    sp "hkcu:\software\microsoft\VisualStudio\9.0\ViEmu" "Enable" 1
    sp "hkcu:\software\microsoft\VisualStudio\9.0\ViEmu" "AllowKbdClashes" 0

function Disable-ViEmu()
    sp "hkcu:\software\microsoft\VisualStudio\9.0\ViEmu" "Enable" 0
    sp "hkcu:\software\microsoft\VisualStudio\9.0\ViEmu" "AllowKbdClashes" 1

ViEmu provides this UI but it's a mode switch.  I tend to run my suites from the command line and I find opening the UI and disabling takes too much time and is a distraction.  Running a quick disable-viemu takes virtually no time and fits right into the command line.

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