A few thoughts/observations/comments on vi in general, for anyone scared about it or debating not learning it.
- vi/vim is cool because it is everywhere. If you walk up to some obscure ancient UNIX box, probably all it will have is vi. This means your editor (pico, nano, emacs, etc) -- will not exist. This is life.
- Enjoy the simple speedups like :/foo/ to search for foo, or :520 to go to line 520, or ":set nu" to show line numbers, or ":$" to jump to EOF. In most GUI tools (nedit, SlickEdit, etc) you'd have to expend far more calories to make these things happen. In more primative tools (pico, nano, etc) some of these things require far more keystrokes and some of them aren't even doable.
- There greatest thing about vi/vim is you don't have to leave the keyboard and everything can be typed very quickly. This minimizes wrist strain (especially with mises) or finger-cramps-or-breakage (Escape-Meta-Alt-Control-Shift) in EMACS.
- For those using pico, nano, consider yourself being taunted and envision yourself riding a bike with training wheels. Endeavor to be cool like the other kids.
- You might have tried "vi" and had problems. Maybe the arrow keys were unsupported, maybe backspace was broken. You'll find vim is vastly superior to old-schoool vi. You still launch vim with "vi", but it's less broken. Scream in terror when you approach a SCO box and it has "vi" and not "vim". Consider upgrading however possible.
- there are oodles of commands and options. You don't need to learn them all. insert mode will take you far, you don't need all of them -- especially when using vim (AIOCS).
- There is no escape from beep mode. -- and merlyn, on my laptop, the infernal thing beeps using my PC speaker. -- you should treat beep mode as shock training. It's annoying you because you did something wrong, and it is encouraging you to type valid commands so you don't sound stupid in front of your other friends. Yep, beep mode is a good thing -- and it will make you faster through subconcious training
- If you encounter any EMACS zealots while complaining about vi, they are there to convert you, so you should run away as fast as possible. Tell them EMACS would be for you if only you had twenty fingers. Or maybe "EMACS is a great operating system, but it really needs a good text editor".
- run :h holy-grail when you get a chance and see the nine-billion options