I’m a Neovim newbie. Please don’t be offended by an outsider’s perspective. There’s a tool I want to use that’s only available for Neovim, not Vim. And Neovim seems like a generally better Vim. So I would love to use Neovim. But I also want to use a GUI. And that is frustrating. (I imagine that there are others like me.)
For me, running in a GUI is a practical need. I use Vim in terminals, too, but for sustained work I want scrolling with a trackpad, cutting and pasting to other apps, being able to drag dividers between internal vim windows using a mouse, and other GUI features.
It seems to me that at present:
- There are too many Neovim GUIs to choose from …
Having too many would not be a problem if it was easy to find one that suited one’s needs, but it’s not:
- Many of the GUIs won’t build on my system (or maybe they would with some effort–I am willing to put in the effort–but I can’t tell whether it’s worth it, because…)
- Some of those that build won’t run.
- And some of those won’t run well.
- And some of those that run well lack basic features that I want.
- Or have most of the features I want but still have significant bugs.
- And existing lists of GUIs don’t give me much help in figuring whether it’s worth trying out a GUI or not. So far, none of the ones that seemed worth trying have been suitable for me.
I don’t fault any of the GUI developers for this! Not their fault. It’s understandable:
- There are so many GUIs that each GUI is maintained by one or a few people.
- These (generous) people are busy, and a Neovim GUI is probably a hobby project, so the developers might not have time or interest in adding lots of features that they don’t personally want, or even to fix bugs that they don’t encounter.
- There are so many GUIs maintained by one or two people that many of them have been abandoned (because people are busy). [I know of one that’s a commercial project, but it’s been abandoned afaics.]
So there are lots of people who’ve put in lots of time and energy working on a Neovim GUI–yet it’s still difficult to find a good GUI for Neovim (at least for me). It seems wasteful, although I’m sure that each developer enjoyed developing their GUI.
You might think that the apparent lack of good GUI options is not much of a problem, because (I would guess) most Neovim users don’t use GUIs and don’t care about them. However, that might be because the people who want a GUI don’t use Neovim–because they can’t find a good GUI. (If that’s true, then the lack of a GUI is hindering the growth of the Neovim community. Which is OK, I guess. But I still want to use Neovim, in a GUI. So it’s a problem for me.)
I feel that there ought to be a single, or a couple of Neovim GUI projects, probably as part of the Neovim distribution, that many of the Neovim GUI developers can contribute to. That would require a lot of work on what features to include or not, etc.–that’s extra work–but it also would mean that people can work together on a project, leave the project when they need to without it being abandoned, and see the GUI get gradually better. The work wouldn’t be wasted by creation of many GUIs each of which might satisfy only a few people
each. And those who want their own GUI with other special features can still make one.
The resulting GUI might end up seeming bloated with features, but it might please a lot of people. (The MacVim GUI that I use has all sorts of features that I have never used and that I will never use. I don’t care. It has features that I use all the time.)
That’s my thought. I’m sure I’m not the first person to have it. I thought about submitting an issue at the Neovim repo about this. That seemed silly without discussing it with others first. So that’s why I’m here. Thanks.