Saturday, April 21, 2012

My favorite editor is Vim

When I tell people that my favorite editor is Vim, they usually expect me to be familiar with various Vim wizardry.

I am not.

For the most part, I like Vim because it provides the best cross-platform syntax highlighting I have been able to find, and it doesn't take a lot of IQ to do basic editing tasks.

Most of the time, I do as much work in Vim as I would have done in Notepad or Nano to accomplish mildly time consuming tasks. It takes habit to get used to various combinations of modes and commands, and I have never invested the time into making anything beyond the mundane a habit.

I recently decided to change that after coming across an early version of Practical Vim by Drew Neil.

It looked interesting enough that I decided to part with a $20 for the e-book. As brian so clearly explained, the real question when you buy a book is not if it is worth the cover price, but, rather, whether the time spent studying it will add enough to your productivity to make it worthwhile.

As much as I like Vim's documentation, sometimes you need an appealing step-by-step guide to practicing even the things you know well. I am happy to report that Practical Vim has not disappointed me yet, as I quickly went through Part I.

If this book helps me avoid wasting 30% of the time I currently waste hunting through the documentation whenever I need something more than regular editing, it will have amply paid for the time I invested in it.

If you use Vim at all, or if you think your current editor is not all it could be, you owe it to yourself to at least take a look at this book, and consider learning Vim.

PS: If you are able to open a file in Emacs, make a couple of changes, save it in a different directory, and close the program without any help, or stumbles, you've already established that you are at least 1,000 times smarter than I am and there is no reason to rub it in ;-)


2 comments:

  1. If you haven't already, take a look at the tutorial at http://www.viemu.com/a_vi_vim_graphical_cheat_sheet_tutorial.html that is delivered via seven cheat sheets.

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