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Learning the vi and Vim Editors, 7th Edition

by bms (Monk)
on Mar 25, 2012 at 20:37 UTC ( #961540=bookreview: print w/ replies, xml ) Need Help??

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Item Description: With this guide, you learn text editing basics and advanced tools for both editors, such as multi-window editing, how to write both interactive macros and scripts to extend the editor, and power tools for programmers -- all in an easy-to-follow style.

Review Synopsis: Wanna know more about vi or Vim? Want to learn how to amp up your Vim editor to the next level? Want to learn what makes vi and Vim such a big deal and why so many people use it? All these questions and more are answered in Learning the vi and Vim Editors

Review

So, you wanna learn more about vi and Vim? If not, why the hell did you buy this book? Learning vi and Vim, 7th Edition(LVV7) is an excellent introduction to vi, Vim, shell scripting, and also a great introduction into the more advanced parts of vi and Vim.

LVV7 goes over all the bases you need to become a competent vi and Vim user. The book starts off going over the basics of vi. Editing, opening, closing, and saving files. Yanking, pasting, appending, inserting, and blah blah blah. All the basic commands you need to function in vi/Vim are covered. The book then transitions into replacements, using the ex editor, and advanced vi commands such as filtering, abbreviations, and mapping. This may all seem like too much in a short time. But, the effort is well worth it. vi/Vim are productivity boosters once you gain a good competency. And remember, you don't need to memorize ever nuance at once. Mastering one skill a day with vi/Vim is a good idea and in just a couple weeks, you'll be so productive you'll never go back.

After plowing through vi, LVV7 jumps into its expanded Vim section. This section covers what Vim is, how it has improved on vi, and goes through customizing Vim and turning it into a programmers editor. If you have been going through this book using Vim(very likely), you'll now be satisfied to learn all about Vim/gVim and how it can turn your new vi skills into code editing chops. I honestly really enjoyed this section and it really is needed. It's coverage of Vim scripts in a tutorial-esque manner is very very important. It can take you from being just another Vim lacky to being a competent Vim user and possible contributor.

The rest of LVV7 covers other vi clones, such as nvi, Elvis, and vile, and the appendix/reference. Other vi clones is somewhat interesting, though I'm a Vim user. But, the reference is another great section and one that makes this little book a mainstay on my desk. If I forget something or want to add a new skill to my still growing list of daily use commands/functions, I peruse the appendix.

Personal Spin

I switched from Emacs to Vim. That's right, a cardinal sin in the house of Richard Stallman. However, I'm happy I did. I picked up Vim from the internet and I think I am really productive with it. Definitely more than I was was Emacs or any other editor I've used. But it took so long to figure it all out on my own and through sparsely source internet resources. I really wished I would've had this book. It has everything I'd learned over the years compressed into 496 pages. A great read and a great desktop reference.

Conclusion

So, all in all, I highly recommend Learning the vi and Vim Editors, 7th edition. Whether you want a vi/Vim reference, to learn vi/Vim, or just want to use that book reimbursement, you should pick up Learning the vi and Vim Editors, 7th Edition.

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