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Calva and the VIM Extension

First thing first. The VIM Extension and Calva has some friction between them. The alternative VSCode Neovim extension may fare a bit better as it unbinds keystrokes from VS Code while not in insert mode and uses Neovim as a backend.

Selection commands

Calva's various structural selection commands do not put VIM into VISUAL mode. This is true for many VS Code selection scenarios too, so it is not really Calva's fault, but it will be problematic for VIM Extension Calva users, regardless.

Key bindings

In general Calva's default key bindings are not very VI-ish.

You can add these keybindings to your init.vim if you are using the VSCode Neovim extension. It is inspired by and tries to emulate the keybindings found in vim-fireplace which is the most popular vim plugin for Clojure.

nmap cqp :call VSCodeNotify('calva.jackIn')<CR>
nmap cqq :call VSCodeNotify('calva.disconnect')<CR>
nmap cpr :call VSCodeNotify('calva.loadFile')<CR>
nmap cpR :call VSCodeNotify('calva.loadNamespace')<CR>
nmap cpp :call VSCodeNotify('calva.evaluateSelection')<CR>
nmap cqc :call VSCodeNotify('calva.evalCurrentFormInREPLWindow')<CR>

Unfortunately these key combinations will not work in the normal VIM extension as c is an operator key and cannot be remapped. This is a call for someone to share their VIM re-mappings.

Expand selection

Calva binds expand selection to ctrl+w (shift+alt+right on Windows and Linux). This conflicts with the VIM Extension's default mapping of window splitting shortcuts. You'll need to remap it either with Calva or with the VIM Extension.

The esc key

Calva binds the esc key to dismiss the display of inline results. This gets into conflict with any vi coding since esc then is used to go back to command mode. You can either change Calva's default keybinding or the VIM extension's.

Alternatively, you can use the native Vim command Ctrl + [ to escape and get back to command mode. Rebinding your keyboard's CapsLock key to Control may make this even easier.

Remap Calva's clearInlineResults

  • Open the Keyboard Shortcuts JSON file from the Command Palette
  • Disable clearInlineResults and remap the command e.g.
// Place your key bindings in this file to override the defaults
    "key": "escape",
    "command": "-calva.clearInlineResults"
    "key": "shift+escape",
    "command": "calva.clearInlineResults",
    "when": "editorTextFocus && !editorHasMultipleSelections && !editorReadOnly && !hasOtherSuggestions && !suggestWidgetVisible && editorLangId == 'clojure'"

If you run into issues, refer to the commands in the default Keyboard Shortcuts JSON file.

Remap Vim's Insert Mode

Remap vim's insert mode keybinding to go into command mode by adding the following to your user settings:

"vim.insertModeKeyBindings": [
        "before": ["j", "k"],
        "after": ["<esc>"]

(Change before to whatever keybinding you are comfortable with!)