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There are too many VSCode extensions already. Why creating another one?

Hey, I'm Marco, the author of Glimpse. 👋 I'm glad you asked. 😎

This story begins in 2018 when I started using spacemacs. I was blown away by the ergonomics and the discoverability of its key bindings, and I wanted the same experience in the other IDEs.

Today, I maintain Intellimacs, Spaceclipse, and VSpaceCode, the plugins emulating Spacemacs respectively in IntelliJ, Eclipse, and VSCode.

Everything is great: people love these projects because they can switch from Spacemacs to other IDEs when needed. However, I have one issue with these plugins: I don't feel like recommending them to non-Spacemacs users, because the Spacemacs key bindings make sense only in the context of Spacemacs.

Glimpse key bindings

For example, let's compare some of the key bindings of VSpaceCode and Glimpse:

  • Open VSCode settings: f e d (files, emacs, dotfiles) vs c c (configuration, configuration)
  • Switch VSCode editor: b b (buffer, buffer) vs E e (editor, editor)
  • Show call hierarchy: m g h (major, goto, hierarchy) vs g h (goto, hierarchy)

As you can see, Glimpse key bindings don't use emacs terminology (like buffer or major mode), and they make sense to people who never used Spacemacs.

Glimpse design

Speaking of VSpaceCode: to emulate as many Spacemacs features as possible, VSpaceCode depends on other 5 VSCode extensions. This is great for spacemacs users: VSpaceCode is a battery-included solution, just like Spacemacs is.

However, non-spacemacs users probably don't need all those features, and they would be confused by the other extensions installed. That's why Glimpse is just a single extension, that doesn't install anything else.