Start your review of Hacking VIM 7. I was skeptical that this book could pull it off in pages, and I was right. But you need to know the features are available and basically how VIM is such a behemoth, with so many features with arcane key combinations, that it can be intimidating to learn, let alone become an advanced user and hacker. The section on folds, for example, is useless.
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Hacking Vim 7. This is not a book for an absolute Vim beginner; some familiarity with Vim is assumed. And for a Vim fanatic, much of the material may be common knowledge for you already. But any seasoned Vimmer will tell you that there are always things to learn about this editor, and I think nearly everyone will learn something from this book. The book starts on an odd note. Chapter 1 is a history of vi and the various vi clones released over the past couple decades.
Chapter 2 deals with customizing the overall look and feel of Vim. How and where to edit vimrc is covered, with brief attention given to cross-platform issues. It covers the basics changing font faces and colors, customizing menus and toolbars , as well as pointing out some more obscure settings, like highlighting the cursor row and column creating a kind of "cursor crosshair" , and using the match feature to highlight multiple search terms at once.
This chapter is a good foundation for later chapters and a good introduction for anyone who has never edited their own vimrc. Chapter 3 is about text navigation. There are some interesting key mappings provided, for example how to move up and down between "virtual" lines when lines are soft-wrapped.
Chapter 4 is about "production boosters" and covers a wide variety of topics. Much of the chapter is devoted to "templates" and "snippets", which allow you to build skeletons of commonly-used source code with fill-in-the-blanks markers that can be re-used when editing new files. A system for using these templates is built from scratch using Vim script, providing a clever and useful example of scripting in action.
Auto-completion is covered in a lot of detail. Some custom key mappings are provided to help make "omni-completion" in Vim a bit easier to invoke. This chapter also briefly discusses folding, vimdiff, netrw editing files remotely via SSH and other protocols , and ctags. Chapter 5 covers text formatting, both using built-in Vim commands and by piping text through external tools like par and tidy.
A lot of space is devoted to using Vim to prettify plaintext, for example by centering titles on a line, adding ASCII-art dashes for headers and making bulleted lists. For programmers, the book discusses the different indentation styles available in Vim and very briefly shows how to write your own indentation functions, and how to indent and reformat blocks or whole files of code all at once.
I had high hopes for Chapter 6 and 7, which deal with Vim scripting, but I was largely disappointed. Chapter 7 is supposed to be about "extended scripting" topics, but serves largely as a style guide. It details how to structure a script to check for compiled-in features and Vim version number. How to use the debugger and how to make Vimballs are both explored, and the book points out that you can use Perl, Python and Ruby to script Vim without going into much detail or giving solid examples.
Previous chapters in the book do include some useful and practical functions, but those functions are never really taken apart or explained in detail. I thought it was an interesting demonstration that Vim really can do everything, just in case the reader had any doubts at this point. The last appendix is a style guide for keeping your vimrc clean, mostly via common sense and splitting your configuration into multiple files. There were a few typos and editing errors, including a few rather glaring typos in some code examples, but overall the author seems extremely knowledgeable about Vim.
This book is clearly written by someone who uses Vim all the time, and most of the information provided is practical and immediately usable. But the book hits all the right notes and leaves few features entirely unexplored.
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Hacking Vim 7. This is not a book for an absolute Vim beginner; some familiarity with Vim is assumed. And for a Vim fanatic, much of the material may be common knowledge for you already. But any seasoned Vimmer will tell you that there are always things to learn about this editor, and I think nearly everyone will learn something from this book. The book starts on an odd note.
Hacking VIM 7.2
Gain a deep understanding of Vim to master the editor Personalize Vim to suit your needs Navigate through files faster while editing multiple files Boost your productivity by using templates, auto-completion, folding, sessions, and registers Improve the formatting of your text and code by mastering simple tricks Extend Vim with scripts Retain your Vim configuration across computers by storing an online copy About Vim is one of the most powerful open-source editors used by programmers and system administrators around the world. While Vim itself is inherently a powerful editor, personalizing it to suit your needs can be a daunting task. However, it is possible to do so with the help of this book. This book contains examples that cover everything from personalizing Vim according to the your work cycle to optimizations that will boost the your productivity. The main focus of this book is to make your life, as a Vim user, easier. Each chapter deals with a different aspect, and provides recipes for easy-to-use hacks to customize and simplify your Vim experience.