Back to evil key bindings in Emacs

· geekery ·

Apparently — to quote The Byrds — ’to everything there is a season, turn, turn, turn’. Despite what I have written, I’ve gone back to Doom’s evil (i.e. vim) bindings. As I thought about it more I realised that it made more sense to go with the grain in Doom. Doom works perfectly fine with plain Emacs bindings (if you tweak a little), but it is designed around evil-bindings, so you are missing out on some well thought-out aspects of the configuration. You can, of course, still use plain Emacs bindings in insert mode (which is often quite useful), and you can switch to Emacs mode temporarily by using the binding C-z. The two systems co-exist quite peacefully, so it is easy to use whatever seems best in context. I have, for example, continued to use isearch rather than vim-style search because I have found that I prefer it for simple searches. However, for search and replace, I prefer the vim :%s/foo/bar/ command. That’s no problem in Doom, and you can use either whenever you want.

Of course, I am very familiar with vim keybindings, so there’s a lot of comfort in returning to that familiarity. However, it turned out that what I missed most of all was using space as the leader for commands. This was what I liked most about Spacemacs, and similarly it is one of the best things about Doom, especially as I’ve got a very ergonomic position for the space key on my Ergodox keyboard. It just wasn’t quite the same pressing two keys, even though that doesn’t seem like a big deal.

I’m still glad that I tried out something else. I have learned a lot of things along the way, and I am much more familiar with (and much more likely to use) the Emacs keybindings, so it has brought benefits, despite the upheaval.