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Vi iMproved (VIM) [Paperback]

Steve Oualline
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 51.99
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Book Description

April 11 2001 0735710015 978-0735710016 1

Real Linux users don't use GUIs. No matter how popular, slick and sophisticated the interfaces become for Linux and UNIX, you'll always need to be able to navigate in a text editor. The vi editor is the original standard UNIX full screen editor. It's been around almost since UNIX began and it has changed very little. To get around the limitations of vi the people at Bram Moolenaar created the vim editor (the name stand for VI iMproved). It contains many more features than the old vi editor including: help, multiple windows, syntax highlighting, programmer support, and HTML support. All of the books published to date focus on vi alone not the expanded vim shipping with every major Linux distribution. In true New Riders' form, the vim reference will be a definitive, concise reference for the professional Linux user and developer. This tutorial takes a task oriented approach allowing you to learn only the commands that make your job easier.


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Product Description

From the Back Cover

Real Linux users don't use GUIs. No matter how popular, slick and sophisticated the interfaces become for Linux and UNIX, you'll always need to be able to navigate in a text editor. The vi editor is the original standard UNIX full screen editor. It's been around almost since UNIX began and it has changed very little. To get around the limitations of vi the people at Bram Moolenaar created the vim editor (the name stand for VI iMproved). It contains many more features than the old vi editor including: help, multiple windows, syntax highlighting, programmer support, and HTML support. All of the books published to date focus on vi alone not the expanded vim shipping with every major Linux distribution. In true New Riders' form, the vim reference will be a definitive, concise reference for the professional Linux user and developer. This tutorial takes a task oriented approach allowing you to learn only the commands that make your job easier.

About the Author

Steve Qualline is the author of many programming and Linux related books. He is a professional software engineer, author, and educator. Currently, he works for a large software company as a quality engineer devising ways to improve the quality and reliability of the code produced by their programmers. He is also an avid blimp enthusiast as well as a volunteer steam locomotive engineer on the Poway-Midland Railroad. http://www.qualine.com.


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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
By Rod Doe
Format:Paperback
This book was the ticket to admission to the Linux world. To use Linux, one must immediately be competent with a text editor that runs on Linux. For me, a Windows developer who had used vi a decade or so ago on an HP-UX system but had successfully forgotten everything, this book allowed me to regain my vi-ish skills on Windows during my day job so I could productively goof around on Linux at night.
Other reviewers noted errors. To me, there were no big, hairy errors. This book yielded a positive learning experience. I shudder to think where I would be now without it. I had considered the purchase of a $... Linux version of a commercial editor that I use on Windows, but decided to give this book a try before I made the big investment. This proved to be a good decision, because now I eschew the expensive commercial editor and use vim as my text editor on Windows and Linux.
My only complaint with this situation is not with the book, but with me. Now, my fingers 'think' in vim, and those fingers 'think' much faster that my brain thinks. This works quite well when in vim, but not so well elsewhere...
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Format:Paperback
I decided to learn Vim because I work on WinNT/2K, Linux, and Macintosh boxes. Using a single editor makes it easier to work on mulitple platforms.
My review of this book is mixed. First, it's the only book on Vim and it contains a lot of information, so that's a plus. Also, it shed a lot of light on using the editor that, frankly, the help files did not (you can look up *ANYTHING* via ":help <topic>", but the documentation is not very accessible to the new user). However, the typos, errors, bad grammar, and personal idiosyncracies of Mr. Oualline just have to be seen to be believed.
You can figure out most of the errors easily enough. For example, there's a reference to the non-BUI version of Vim (I think he meant GUI)and for some reason, in the word "filename", when used as an example (e.g., "type 'vim filename'"), the "fi" is sans-serif while the rest of the example text is in bold Courier. There are, however, numerous places where the diagrams don't match the example being discussed in the text or are just plain wrong. Some of these left me wondering if I had missed something, but trying out a command in Vim quickly showed the diagram was wrong. My favorite goof is where '#' (the command to search backwards for the word under the cursor) is shown in numerous places in Appendix C (pp. 445, 449, and elsewhere) as a British money sign (e.g., "/count/ L"), where L is the pound sign. Get it? Pound sign? Obviously the person who did the Appendices and Index (and copy-editing???) was not Mr. Oualline.
With regard to the content, I found that Mr. Oualline is very idiosyncratic. Vim is VERY flexible, using ancient Vi ways of doing things, as well as more modern ways that are easier to use.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Too confusing and too many errors May 19 2001
Format:Paperback
So far I have only read up to page 118. The large number of errors I have found so far is mind-numbing. I pity the poor beginner who has to plow through these mistakes in order to try to understand the vim program. For those who already have a copy, I ask you to compare figures 2.4 and 2.5 and tell me what is the difference between the two sets of arrows. Look at figure 2.13 and find the two outright errors, the inconsistency, and the point that might be confusing to a beginner. Read the section entitled 'How to Change Last, First to First, Last' on pages 103 and 104 and find the following:
1. The \(, \), \1, and \2 used here will not be introduced until page 213.
2. The regular expression in figure 9.2 is labeled a 'command', while the command itself is found nowhere.
3. The dollar sign in the regular expression is redundant.
4. The [^,]* could be replaced with the simpler .* unless you anticipate that there would be more than one comma on a line, in which case, any command would fail.
5. The space after the comma in the names file is not properly accounted for.
6. Who changes last, first to first, last anyway? It should be changed to first last, with no comma.
This nonsense appears just after the author has introduced the :substitute command. Take a breath Mr. Oualline, and teach the basics first.

These are not isolated problems, the whole book is like this.
My opinion is that:
1. Mr. Oualline has too much experience with vim to remember the needs of a beginner.
2. The artist who created the figures seems to have no experience with vim whatever.
3. The review process at New Riders is too careless.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Another definitive work from Newriders. May 4 2001
Format:Paperback
As a technical reader who owns more than 50 O'Reilly books (and I have read them all,) I can with great confidence say that my library has been drifting away from them over the last year as Newriders has been publishing the best technical material in the industry. As an example of the kind of *definitive* works that they are producing - look no further than MySQL by Paul DuBois, The Network Intrusion Detection An Analyst's Handbook by Stephen Northcut, Linux Firewalls by Robert L. Ziegler and Python Essential Reference by David M. Beazley, Guido Van Rossum.
All of these books and many more are 4.5 - 5 star books here at Amazon. It would seem that I am not alone in my opinion.
Vi IMproved (VIM) by Steve Oualline is no exception.
The only way this book could be more definitive would be to include the source code. From the complete novice to the seasoned professional this book stands on it's own as a text to *learn* from as well as being a very useful reference work in its own right.
If you are looking for a book about Vim or vi - look no further, this is the definitive book that continues a new standard of technical excellence in instruction and reference publishing.
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Most recent customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Best book on Vim
I keep going back to this book again and again and that is one of it's strengths. It lays down a foundation of understanding, and then as you grow with the editor you go back to it... Read more
Published on April 27 2004 by Jack D. Herrington
3.0 out of 5 stars we need a competing book that is better organized
I have used this book in a Windows environment; a few years of on-again-off again coding. I agree with the reviewer who found the book very disorganized. Read more
Published on Jan. 1 2004 by anonymous object
4.0 out of 5 stars Indispensable!!
Vim is an exceedingly powerful, but somewhat esoteric text editor. You can make it do almost *anything*, provided you know how. Read more
Published on Sept. 26 2003 by Brinda Ganesh
4.0 out of 5 stars Don't like the long command name
One main reason people use vi/vim is that by using few key strokes you can do your editing job. In this book, author choose to teach you how to do things using the longest command... Read more
Published on Aug. 29 2002 by C. L.
2.0 out of 5 stars Jumbled, inconsistent, windows-tilted book for beginners
I had extremely high hopes for this book. I spend at least 12 hours a day using vim. My hope was that I'd learn a couple new things that would help me use vim more efficiently, or... Read more
Published on Aug. 25 2002 by Jane Avriette
5.0 out of 5 stars You have to have major sack to use vi
I haven't read this book but am considering buying it. What I don't like is seeing some review that gives the book one star just because it was hard to do something. Read more
Published on June 14 2002
1.0 out of 5 stars Disorgainzed, Haphazard explanations -- refund time
This book is poorly structured, for example, as a newbie I tried to figure out how I could insert a file into my current buffer... Read more
Published on April 8 2002 by Cameron
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Reference
I've been a vi/vim user on and off for the past 3 years at school and whenever I was accessing a server on the production floor. Read more
Published on March 14 2002 by Kenneth Wong
3.0 out of 5 stars Everything you ever wanted to know about Vim
This book truly contains everything you ever wanted to know about the Vim editor. I have been using Vim for 5 or 6 years (I've written two books using it!). Read more
Published on July 18 2001 by Dwayne Phillips
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome book for beginners and intermediates
Having been an Emacs user for a while, the notion of trying out another editor (one often derided by other Emacs users) was intimidating. Read more
Published on June 29 2001 by Maurice Reeves
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