I was thinking about the fact that when I code I sometimes cut corners to save time, but those compromises end up biting me back later on. Problems like bad variable names and poor code structure become harder to fix as a project gets larger. I thought that this problem could be from coding too fast. I wanted to try an experiment to slow down my coding, and force me to think about what I’m writing. So, I thought it’d be fun to try to write with an immutable editor.

I wrote a plugin for the Atom editor that disables the backspace and delete keys. This forces me to think about what I’m writing, since things can’t be changed. Admittedly, it’s a stupid idea. A really stupid idea. It’s amazing how much I use backspace, and how much I miss it when it’s gone. But, hey, it’s just an experiment. Actually, the experiment was such a failure that I had to make a keybinding to toggle back on mutability. It’s just too hard to type without making mistakes. But, I think it’s a fun idea, in a kind of masochistic way.

If you want to try it too, you can download the plugin for Atom, it’s just called Immutable. You use Ctrl-Backspace to toggle mutability.

Written on September 6, 2017