ViEmu and ReSharper, or “How to tone down your highlights”

Let it not be said the RSI is all fun and games. The hillbilly has just realized that he can legally date someone half his age and while that might open up a world of possibilities within his family tree alone, it also means he’s getting elderly.

One of the symptoms is a nice dull ache above my right elbow. I’m attributing it to one or more of three factors:

  • Having to reach over both the cursor key cluster and the numeric keypad whenever I need to reach for my mouse
  • My wrists twisting at odd angles on the keyboard
  • My constant habit of wh—….actually let’s leave it at two reasons

My current keyboard is the standard Apple one (the wired one) which I picked up within a week of receiving my new desktop. The stock Dell one is not unlike a Speak N Spell when it comes to typing, the most egregious failure being the funky home key cluster. I’m not sure when they switched from the standard 2 x 3 to a 3 x 2 but I have to wonder what the thinking is behind such a switch. My own fault I guess for shelling out three large without putting any thought into my primary interface for the thing.

Its replacement is on its way based on the recommendation of someone whose opinion I respect highly and whose state of mental well-being is frighteningly similar to my own. Which is the only reason I shell out that much sight unseen, especially in a country not generally known for its excellent warranty service.

In the meantime, I giving another college try to various vim incarnations, particularly Vimperator and ViEmu. I tried both (and vim itself) for about a month some time ago and just couldn’t get into it. These days, I’m doing a lot more hard-core coding and have a more vested interested in getting off the mouse. Surprisingly, it wasn’t as hard as I thought to get back into the saddle, at least for the basic navigation commands.

Anyway, on to the real reason I called you all here today.

ViEmu and ReSharper are not quite best friends yet. They’re tolerant of each other and try to stay out of each others’ way but I hit some issues after installing ViEmu. There may be more incompatibilities but I ran into two before negotiating a detente ‘twixt the two:

  • Shift-Alt-L no longer works (R# shortcut for opening Solution Explorer with the current file highlighted)
  • In Fonts and Colors, the ReSharper options disappeared under the Text Editor settings.

The second caused some issues because in my fit of re-ergonomics, I’m also trying out a light-on-dark Visual Studio theme again after also discarding that some years ago. I’ve also got the Highlight Current Line option turned on in ReSharper and if you don’t have the ReSharper Current Line option listed in Fonts and Colors, the default is a very bright and very unintelligible white.

The issue seems to be the order in which things are installed. I had installed ReSharper first, then ViEmu. I also uninstalled both, then re-installed them in the same order. But before installing ViEmu, I verified that Highlight Current Line worked as expected. After installing ViEmu, I was back to a veritable blank line for my highlighted row.

Next, I uninstalled both and installed ViEmu first, followed by ReSharper and all appears right with the worl—…well, let’s not get carried away. I’ve got Visual Studio working the way I want is all.

I probably could and should report the inconsistency. But while the two may not be friends with each other, they are both friends of CodeBetter, which is partially why I’m posting in this neutral territory.

Kyle the Mediator

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  • Kyle Baley

    Yeah, he was the one that even got me thinking of becoming less mouse-dependent with ReSharper shortcuts and ViEmu. He’s also an early adopter though. Remember he got a DataHand but I understand he doesn’t use it anymore. Will have to find out why.

  • Jean-Francois Cantin

    Kyle: you should ping JP boodhoo on twitter. He is mr. mouseless!

  • Kyle Baley

    I prefer to go straight to the file I’m working on, so I default to the R# version of Shift+Alt+L. After re-installing, it worked again so I’m all good.

    BUT, I did have to reset the ReSharper shortcut keys in order to do so. Probably overwrote some ViEmu shortcuts in the process but I’m more familiar with the ReSharper ones anyway. Will see how it plays out.

  • Ian Cooper

    CRTL+ALT+L is the VS open solution explorer key combo and still works under ViEmu.

    More useful is to remap CTRL+T to something else as it is disabled. I just ended up remapping the most importatn R# combos where there was a conflict with ViEmu

  • Kyle Baley

    Liam: I have that very keyboard…in storage somewhere back in Canada. I like it a lot but it’ll be a while before I’m back in the motherland. And the same friend who recommended the keyboard also went with a trackball mouse. Will see how it plays out with the keyboard first.

  • Per Erik Stendahl

    I’ve also experienced the loss of R# colors when I install _any_ other plugin to Visual Studio. The only solution so far seems to be to go into the control panel and repair R# and have a backup of the color settings. :-/

    Looking forward to a review of that funky keyboard!

  • Neil

    I’ve been looking into ViEmu myself. Keep us posted on your progress!

  • Liam McLennan

    Ergo 4000 and Logitech trackman have helped with my wrist pain. Saved my career.

    Kinesis looks even more outlandish. Expect it to take some time to learn how to type again.