Mstation Book Reviews
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Thu, 19 Jun 2008

Hacking Vim

Kim Schulz, Hacking Vim, Packt Publishing

Pact Vim book page

This is the newest book on Vim and right now the only one that deals with Vim 7. In case you were wondering, Vim is a text and code editor that is available on most every platform. It is a development of the venerable Vi editor and has featured in the Vi vs Emacs religious wars.

In fact I was a keen Emacs user myself but these days, on my tiny weird Linux machine, I use Vim because it is useful and extensible and Emacs is not. I've become quite a fan as well and this book is aimed precisely at the likes of me - someone who knows their way around but is not a guru and is interested in new tricks and better ways to get things done.

The book starts off with a history of Vi and Vi-alikes, then goes on to personalisation - changing fonts, colours, highlighting, the status line, and more. Then we're onto better navigation - moving by paragraph and sentence and the like and ways of movement in code files - which includes a key mapping for solving the long line problem. There's heaps more - dealing with tags; macro recording; folding; using vimdiff; scripting; games; and an index to make random access easier.

My only complaint about the book is that a couple of the code examples didn't work for me. The first was part of the status line code and the second had to do with folding.

Anyway, if all that sounds like fun, then this book is certainly for you and as a plus, there is a donation made to Ugandan orphans for each book sold.

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