Brockmeier Issues Beginner's Guide to Vim Editor

Nov 23, 2009

Defenders of the somewhat unwieldy vi editor say, "Sure vi is user-friendly; it's just peculiar about who it makes friends with." Joe Brockmeier of openSUSE fame has now come out with a beginner's guide to Vim and what it does.

Most Linux users know "Zonker" Brockmeier as community manager of the openSUSE project who usually announces when a new openSUSE is in the starting blocks. (Brockmeier is also contributor to Linux Magazine.) He apparently also has other interests, as his article on the Vim editor for the Linux Foundation suggests.

No matter how Spartan a Linux distro might be, it almost always includes the "vee-eye" text editor. Anyone with the slightest Linux involvement will come into contact with it. To prevent users from running into catastrophes with it, Brockmeier wrote "Vim 101: A Beginner's Guide to Vim."

Vim is a further development of the ancient vi written by Bill Joy in the 1970s. Often vi is included as an actual link to Vim in some standard Linux distros such as Ubuntu and openSUSE. Learning Vim largely involves memorizing a handful of keyboard shortcuts. Brockmeier's article therefore lists the most vital shortcuts for cursor movements and deleting and copying words and characters.

Upon learning these relatively simple commands, work can proceed faster than with other text editors, such as Nano, at least as dyed-in-the-wool Vim fans claim. The alternative to Vim is emacs. Vim and emacs advocates have been raging an ongoing rivalry for the longest time, known as the "Editor war."

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  • Further development?

    > Vim is a further development of the ancient vi written by Bill Joy in the 1970s.

    And Linux is "further development" of UNIX then?

    Somehow wrongness of former is less obvious than of latter. "Further development" implies derivative work.

    Bram Moolenaar wrote Vim becase Joy's vi (which I have still /pleasure/ to work with on Solaris and HP-UX) is bad at pretty much everything. Concept is good - rest is bad. And "bad" is me putting it very politely.
  • unwieldy vi editor?

    > unwieldy vi editor


    Learn the darn basic facts: vi != Vim && Vim >> vi
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