James Bowes

Purveyor of Pre-eminent Programmes

vimtutor

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It was a matter of survival, I thought. I found myself in an
environment where there were 2 kinds of people: those who used jedit,
and those who used vim. The last emacs user had been given a pair of
cement shoes. I wasn’t going down that way; not me.

So I gave it another shot. Herk
had given me a nice wizz-bang demonstration of what an experience vim
user can do, and I was impressed. This weekend, I went through
vimtutor again, refamiliarized myself with the basics, and then went
looking for vim’s equivalents of some of my more frequently used emacs
commands.

Two selling points of vi and it’s descendants are that their
commands are concise (no C-x C-M-v RET twiddle-bitsticks), and that
they work the same everywhere (the argument being that an emacs user’s
configuration file is filled with customizations). I liked these two
points, but they fell apart when I tried to do more advanced
operations, like sorting a region of text.

M-x sort-lines will sort a region of lines alphabetically in
emacs. This comes in handy when one wants to order some #defines, for
example. In vim, I found two possible solutions. The first involved
piping the text to the external sort command, then having it write
back over the selected text. The second required installing a third
party script. The first option is not concise, and both are not
portable. This was typical for many other operations that I perform regularly in emacs.

I’ll stick with emacs, for now. Hopefully I’ll be able to outrun the vim goons.

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Written by jbowes

June 20, 2005 at 4:15 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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