[clug] Text editor

Brendan Jurd direvus at gmail.com
Sun Oct 26 10:09:36 MDT 2014

On 25 October 2014 23:37, Bryan Kilgallin <bryan at netspeed.com.au> wrote:

> Why in the 21st century, use a text-based editor? This reminds me of using
> CP/M decades ago on a minicomputer. Is it an exercise in industrial
> archaeology, like learning to make cast-iron railway lines?

For my mileage, having used vi(m) as my main editor for some 14 years, it
has been totally worth it.

When working on programming code or configuration files, I regularly
perform operations in vim in a few keystrokes, that would be either tedious
or downright infeasible in a WYSIWYG mousey word processor.  The learning
curve is steep, and getting used to command mode vs. insert mode does
require a commitment of mental resources.  But once you're underway you'll
find yourself picking up all sorts of wonderful tricks that make
manipulating text a joy.  Once you get the hang of macro/repeat commands,
you'll be an unstoppable text editing ninja, and a tree of drop-down
pop-out menus will seem laughably slow to you.

There's a very nice vim cheat sheet reference card made for printing out
and keeping handy near your computer.  I've gotten a lot of value from
this: http://xavier.perseguers.ch/fileadmin/download/vimqrc.pdf

There's also a great series of instructional videos at http://vimcasts.org/
Even after more than a decade of using vim in my day job, I have picked up
a few excellent new tricks by watching these.


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