Tuesday, March 16, 2010

IdeaVIM in IntelliJ Community Edition

So, I started using IntelliJ last month and I've really been enjoying it. As a previous heavy user of ReSharper with Visual Studio, I've grown accustomed to the convenience and efficiency of an IDE with refactoring and code inspection built in. However, I immediately began to suffer from the lack of VI keybindings.

One of the great things about IntelliJ is the huge repository of plugins. To top that off, the plugins are integrated right into the preferences manager so you can search, download, and enable them all in one easy place. My search in the plugins manager came up empty, so I continued the search online where I did find a plugin listed right on the IntelliJ website! IdeaVIM: http://plugins.intellij.net/plugin/?id=164.

Why wasn't it showing up in my plugins manager? Well, it turns out that the IdeaVIM plugin is only offered to users of the IntelliJ Ultimate edition. Great... I'm not about to pay $250 to get key bindings for one of the most prevalent text editors in the world in my IntelliJ, on top of the fact that the money doesn't go directly to the plug-in developer (Note, I was happy to pay $60 for my copy of ViEmu).

So two things happened next that got me what I needed,
  1. I saw a "download" link on the plug-ins page
  2. I learned that my coworker had successfully installed the plugin on his computer before they restricted it to the Ultimate edition
With that knowledge in hand, I was ready to try a new tactic:
  1. I downloaded and unzipped the plugin and placed it in my ~/Library/Application Support/IntelliJIdea90CE/ directory.
  2. Next, I copy-and-pasted the availables.xml configuration section for the IdeaVIM plugin off my coworker's computer into my own.
  3. Then I restarted IntelliJ and ta-da, I now have VIM!