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Vi iMproved (VIM) Paperback – Apr 11 2001

3.8 out of 5 stars 19 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 624 pages
  • Publisher: Sams Publishing; 1 edition (April 11 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0735710015
  • ISBN-13: 978-0735710016
  • Product Dimensions: 17.8 x 3.6 x 22.6 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 998 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars 19 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #283,024 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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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.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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
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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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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Format: Paperback
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 macros, or whatever.
Unfortunately, this book is really not written for an experienced vim user. It is written for somebody who is scared of vi in general and needs a book to start with. The author goes over such mundane details as "how to get out of insert mode" to a horrifying degree.
I didn't really learn anything reading this book. Vim comes with exceptional documentation, and this book seems to be nothing more than a digestion of that documentation.
I really would recommend against this book for all but the very new-to-unix user.
Oh, and the occasional commentary throughout the book about how unix vim isnt "smart enough" to do something the windows vim does just made me sick.
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Format: Paperback
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. I am ordering the old edition of the O'Reilly book on the vi editor (a very small book, better than the newest edition and less than 5 bucks) because I found it more helpful than this book (!!).
I will try to go through it (yet) again, because I like vim, and recognize its power. I just downloaded TextPad and tried it for the first time in probably 4 years, and I am running back to vim after less than an hour of TextPad (the "dd" command of vim to delete a line has become essential to me :) ).
So, buy the book, but use the web and the excellent listserv to understand vim.
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