Vim is a computer program used for writing which provides a range of features to help you write better.
Let’s face it, it’s very rare to produce your best work on the first attempt. Most likely, you will keep editing it frequently until it becomes ‘good’.
As Louis Brandeis once said:
“There is no great writing, only great rewriting.”
Making these numerous rapid changes would be a lot easier if we had a capable editor to help us, and that is exactly where Vim shines, and is far better compared to most plain text editors and rich document editors.
Why Write This Book?
I have been using the Vim editor ever since I learned to use the old vi editor during Unix classes in college. Vim is one of the few pieces of software that I use for nearly 10 hours a day. I knew there were many features which I didn’t know about that could potentially be useful to me, so one day I started exploring Vim little by little.
To crystallize my understanding and to help others also explore Vim, I started writing this collection of notes, and called it a book.
Some of the principles I have tried to keep in mind while writing these notes are:
- Simple literature. The importance of this should be reinforced again and again.
- Emphasis on examples and how-to.
- The one-stop shop for readers to learn Vim – from getting started to learning advanced stuff.
- Get the user to understand how to do things the Vim way – from modes to buffers to customization. Most people learn only the basic vi commands and do not attempt to learn anything beyond that. Learning such concepts is the tipping point, they become hardcore Vim users, i.e., Vimmers, which means they extract the most out of Vim, which is the intent of this book.
- A lot of things are documented and stored here as a reference for people such as how to use Vim as an IDE, etc. There are various ways of doing it and instead of the user struggling to figure out which plugins to try out, the book already has the basic background work already for the reader.
- Just enough info to get you to understand and use, not everything required (Pareto principle)
- Relatedly, the book shouldn’t attempt to rewrite the reference manual. Where appropriate, it should simply point out the relevant parts. This way, there is no redundancy, the user learns to use the awesome built-in reference manual which is important, and the book can stand on its own strengths as well.
To summarize, the mantra is Concepts. Examples. Pithy.
Status of the Book
This book is a work-in-progress and is not yet ready to be called a “1.0″ version.
Constructive suggestions are most welcome. Please add your thoughts and suggestions via the ‘Discussion’ link in the left sidebar on any page at the official website, or alternatively email me.
The official website of the book is http://www.swaroopch.com/notes/Vim . From the website, you can read the whole book online or download the latest versions of the book, and also send me feedback.
License and Terms
- This book is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.
- This means:
- You are free to Share, i.e., to copy, distribute and transmit this book
- You are free to Remix, i.e., to adapt this book
- Under the following conditions:
- Attribution. You must attribute the work in the manner specified by the author or licensor (but not in any way that suggests that they endorse you or your use of this book).
- Share Alike. If you alter, transform, or build upon this work, you may distribute the resulting work only under the same or similar license to this one.
- For any reuse or distribution, you must make clear to others the license terms of this book.
- Any of the above conditions can be waived if you get permission from the copyright holder.
- Nothing in this license impairs or restricts the author’s moral rights.
- This means:
- Attribution must be shown by linking back to http://www.swaroopch.com/notes/Vim and clearly indicating that the original text can be fetched from this location.
- All the code/scripts provided in this book is licensed under the 3-clause BSD License unless otherwise noted.
- Sample text used in this book has been retrieved from http://en.wikipedia.org and http://en.wikiquote.org under the GNU Free Documentation License.
- Volunteer contributions to this original book must be under this same license and the copyright must be assigned to the main author of this book.
Something To Think About
Books aren’t written – they’re rewritten. Including your own. It is one of the hardest things to accept, especially after the seventh rewrite hasn’t quite done it.
– Michael Crichton
Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.
– Antoine de Saint-Exupery