Thursday, January 30, 2014

Intro to Vim

If you have 25 minutes to spare, watch Derek Wyatt's video about why coders should learn Vim.

Derek is charismatic and fun to watch, for one --- about as good as any TV show I waste my time on. Better though: he has a whole series of videos teaching the curious coder about Vim. And why not be entertained while learning how to wield this mighty weapon of choice?  

The Vim Screen
The Vim Screen
I learned Vim very slowly over the years (read: "I didn't really know how to use Vim over the years"), using it only occasionally when I had to do something quick from the command line. I remember the first time I saw its extremely plain, featureless screen and thinking, "This thing can't possibly be as good as everyone says it is." I figured that Vim must be one of those "back in the old days" kind of things... But every time I needed to edit
something at the command line real quick I'd think of Vim. I was intrigued and intimidated by all the good things people had to say about it. 

Recently I've been working at the command line quite a bit and frequently switching between languages, which usually means between editors / development environments. I wanted some consistency. I thought, "Why not try Vim again?" A few Google searches later I was playing Vim Adventures. Cost 25 bucks, but I figured, hey, this will be a fun way to pick up a new skill on my off time...and I've blown 25 bucks on worse things!

Fun it was, but after learning all it had to teach there is often something I need to do that I don't know how, or I will wonder if there is a Vim extension to do such-and-such. I'm currently learning about various Vim plug-ins (e.g., Vim-LaTeX) and can't help but to realize I still know diddly squat about the inherent powers lurking underneath the illusory screen simplicity of Vim.

So-- I'm going to give these videos a go and, hopefully, I learn a thing or two. 

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