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Learning the vi and Vim Editors
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Learning the vi and Vim Editors

3.88  ·  Rating Details ·  435 Ratings  ·  38 Reviews
There's nothing that hard-core Unix and Linux users are more fanatical about than their text editor. Editors are the subject of adoration and worship, or of scorn and ridicule, depending upon whether the topic of discussion is your editor or someone else's.

vi has been the standard editor for close to 30 years. Popular on Unix and Linux, it has a growing following on Window
Paperback, 494 pages
Published July 22nd 2008 by O'Reilly Media (first published January 1st 1987)
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(showing 1-30)
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Nov 23, 2012 David rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I can finally use Vi without making a fool of myself!

Vi is easily the least user-friendly application still in widespread use. Learn it well enough to feel confident when it pops up on the screen is something that requires a fair bit of devoted practice. It requires muscle memory.

The edition of this book that I read dates to the early 1990's - I don't believe Vim even existed then. Despite being so old, it was adequately suited to my needs: learning the basic commands of Vi which will be availab
Mar 20, 2012 Kian rated it really liked it
Shelves: reference
After farting about with numerous text editors and IDEs, I decided that on the cusp of turning old I should settle down and start learning the granddaddy of serious text editors. Learning vi and Vim has been around for rather a long time, and gets revisions every decade or so for new features where appropriate.

The material presented in the book is excellent. The first third deals with vi features, present in vi and all the clones. Navigating, searching, and ex are all covered in enough depth to
May 31, 2014 Matt rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I think you finally get your official developer card when you learn Vim or Emacs.
Dec 28, 2016 Isaac rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not terrible, but lacked focus. Too much space wasted on unpopular clones that no one uses, and not enough depth for the editors it does focus on (vi and vim). For example, there are a lot of notes to "consult the documentation for more details".
Dec 10, 2012 Paul rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The danger is reviewing this book is that it’ll look as if I’m taking sides in the vi versus emacs wars. I use both, tending toward vi for line-oriented configuration files and program code, and toward emacs for paragraph-oriented text and XML files.

vi and its numerous clones are classic examples of a standard old-time Unix philosophy: “Why be clear when you can be efficient?” I’ll admit that I’m a fan of the efficient-over-easy approach, but it’s not without shortcomings. In particular, it’s ea
M Sheik Uduman Ali
Dec 24, 2013 M Sheik Uduman Ali rated it it was amazing
I usually use gedit in Linux and other editors for Windows. I had used ViM as secondary option.

Used to see the quotes from hard-core Vi users saying that all other editors are make us lazy. I got a chance to feel that when I was used one of the non-GUI based Linux server. Though, there are many cheat-sheets and books available to know the vi commands, this book is special. If you are in a hurry, you may reluctant to read 494 pages solely for a text editor. But this is one time investment really
Santino Maguire
Jul 26, 2015 Santino Maguire rated it liked it
Definitely showing its age; the first third of the book exclusively discusses vi (not vim), to the extent that a lot of it becomes superceded by the rest of the book. The author has a serious hard-on for `troff`, one in three examples of how to do things with vi(m) is "how to format for troff", which doesn't help the relevancy issue.

Because I was reading on an ebook, the other egregious problem was a huge chunk of the book devoted to vile, kyle, elvis, and other weird vi-clones, none of which r
Jaroslav Tuček
Nov 15, 2015 Jaroslav Tuček rated it really liked it
Another great book from O'Reilly. The text has something to offer no matter whether you are a complete beginner or a seasoned vi veteran. I've been using the editor for years yet found many illuminating explanations of topics I never really took the time to master, like ex commands or vim tabs. I am also grateful to the authors for suggesting many nifty command combinations I haven't been aware of - I know I am a more proficient typist now thanks to reading the book.

The writing is clear and ofte
Nov 28, 2007 Greg marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Someone using the simpler vi clones, like elvis or the like.
Recommended to Greg by: posterity
I've been working on this book slowly and surely for awhile.

I'm ultimately not going to finish it, as I really don't use vi, I use vim, and find the expansions offered by vim (too many to list) insanely useful, especially with my limited experience re: the macros.

I'm not a pro, but as I get increasingly interested in working with increasingly outdated/limited workstations, software such as vim regularly amazes me in its capacity for working quickly without . . .

I don't feel like starting an edit
Dec 06, 2009 Elhannah rated it it was amazing
Not really here to review as much as to point out a minor correction to the listed authors. Being as the only new material in this edition is about vim (which doubled the original size of the book -- seven new chapters), and being as the reviews here kind of focus on the added value of the new vim chapters I thought I'd also add that I am the author of the new material of this edition. It'd be nice to see my name included as "author". I'm just saying.

-Elbert Hannah

(oh yeah, I give it five stars
Veselin Nikolov
Sep 04, 2010 Veselin Nikolov rated it it was amazing
Четох книгата диагонално и ми се стори изчерпателна. Бих искал да науча как точно vim вари кафе, но не можах. От останалите функции, оказа се, че знам почти всичко, което някога ми е трябвало и не знам ужасно много неща, за които нямах никакво желание или нужда да овладявам.

Принципно vim е хубаво да се владее, но отказвам да запомня повече от 1 начин да свърша нещо с него. Не си струва, поне за мен.
Jan 23, 2013 Joe rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fidessa
I used to hate vi because I was used to powerful ide's like eclipse but after reading this book I learned a lot of the luxuries of using vim and now I don't hesitate to use it at work for code changes. I feel a lot more comfortable using it and the book makes for a good reference. Only bad part is that i didn't feel the need for it to go into so many other editors like emacs and Elvis but I just skipped those sections
James Pyles
Jan 28, 2009 James Pyles rated it really liked it
I needed to revitalize my atrophied vi/Vim skills and this book seemed like the logical answer. I stopped off at the vi chapters just long enough to remind myself of the basic commands and then launched into the Vim related chapters (it's called "vi Improved" for a reason). I highly recommend this book if you are new to vi/Vim or need to brush up on your skills. It's also a great reference text if you've mastered the basics but want to go more in depth.
Jul 03, 2012 Max rated it liked it
Shelves: programming
My aim with this book was to learn more about the history behind vim and the architecture of vim; it's with that kind of knowledge that you really understand how to use something to its full potential. This book helped with that, but it didn't go into as much detail as I would have liked. Still I learned a lot and it was worth the time and money.
Feb 10, 2008 Pete rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: linux geeks
vi has two modes: the one where it beeps alot and the one where it screws up your document. If you thought that was funny, you should get this book.

I always learn some new bit of vim arcana when I pick this up again, which has happened at least 10 times since I've owned it. I bought this back when I was a linux noob, and it still has things to teach me.
Ozzie Gooen
Feb 22, 2013 Ozzie Gooen rated it liked it
Lots of information, I think a bit too much for what I was looking for. Takes you through several editors (vi, ex, Darrell, other clones). Very comprehensive for Vim enthusiasts, but quite a bit from someone struggling to get started, which is what the title and branding implies. That said, it is a great deal because of its length for those interested in those things.
Arvydas Sidorenko
Mar 09, 2016 Arvydas Sidorenko rated it it was amazing
Shelves: english-lang
This is probably the most complete VIM book on the market, which can be used both as cover-to-cover read or as a reference. Once you go through it you can be sure that you haven't missed any important aspects of VIM.
Jan 26, 2012 James rated it it was amazing
Accessible to vim newbies and easy to navigate. I appreciated the authors' care to explain the origins of the ex-based commands -- it really helped me understand vim's implementations of search-and-replace.
Alec Clews
Jun 24, 2014 Alec Clews rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfiction, all
This book took me from a frustrated vi novice to a power user and vi convert very quickly. Every UNIX user should get one (unless they know they will have access to,and want to use, emacs everywhere they work)
Dec 16, 2009 Thomas rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: programmers, system administrators, geeks
I've only just started reading this one, but I've skimmed quite a bit of it for useful tidbits. It's definitely the first good solid book on Vim that I've found. If you're a die hard Unix-head, you should definitely pick this up unless you already know Vim inside and out.
Mar 15, 2007 Rustam rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: technical
I learned vi with this book. Well, technically Vim. But whatever. Both are better than Emacs. Screw Emacs. And yes, I'm not above adding tech books to my book list. Tech books are people too, damn it.
Jeff Garbers
Jan 20, 2012 Jeff Garbers rated it really liked it
An excellent overview of my new favorite text editor. Although similar material is certainly available on the Web, it's nice to have it all brought together in one coherent resource.
Feb 14, 2016 Slavik rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: it
I wish I could say I can't edit without vim in near feature. Book is a good source of information regarding vim. I can recommend it for all who wants to start or continue mastering this great tool.
Sep 05, 2008 Mykle marked it as to-read
Recommends it for: me! i should really read it!
What? i have a review? Um ... i haven't read it yet! And I already know vi ... um ... er ... okay:

"This book is SO EFFECTIVE, i learned vi BEFORE i even OPENED it!"

Eat that, emacs!
May 22, 2009 John rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
used this book for a vi class... ok, nice summary of commands as part of the book... vi has a steep learning curve but is the best editor out there... use a version for windows...
Miguel De Luis
Mar 14, 2013 Miguel De Luis rated it it was amazing
I don't know if there are better Vi/Vim books out there, but this one is quite good. Throughly practical yet, at the same time, tells you the "why's" of Vim and recipes so you can work faster.
May 31, 2013 evilrix rated it really liked it
I consider myself a proficient Vim exponent but I learned some very useful and interesting things from this book.
Oct 06, 2013 Jose rated it it was amazing
Great complement to the extensive built-in Vim documentation, and a few relevant tips to use with vanilla vim.
Shekhar Purwar
Shekhar Purwar rated it liked it
Jun 13, 2016
Posthums rated it it was amazing
Feb 25, 2010
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