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Learning the vi Editor (Nutshell Handbooks) Paperback – November 8, 1998

ISBN-13: 063-6920924265 ISBN-10: 1565924266 Edition: Sixth Edition

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Product Details

  • Series: Nutshell Handbooks
  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media; Sixth Edition edition (November 8, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1565924266
  • ISBN-13: 978-1565924260
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 6.6 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #532,858 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

For many users, working in the UNIX environment means using vi, a full- screen text editor available on most UNIX systems. Even those who know vi often make use of only a small number of its features. This handbook is a complete guide to text editing with vi. Quickly learn the basics of editing, cursor movement, and global search and replacement. Then take advantage of the more subtle power of vi. Extend your editing skills by learning to use ex, a powerful line editor, from within vi. Topics covered include: Basic editing Moving around in a hurry Beyond the basics Greater power with ex Global search and replacement Customizing vi and ex Command shortcuts Quick reference to vi and ex commands Also includes a pull-out quick-reference card. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Arnold Robbins, an Atlanta native, is a professional programmer and technical author. He has worked with Unix systems since 1980, when he was introduced to a PDP-11 running a version of Sixth Edition Unix. He has been a heavy AWK user since 1987, when he became involved with gawk, the GNU project's version of AWK. As a member of the POSIX 1003.2 balloting group, he helped shape the POSIX standard for AWK. He is currently the maintainer of gawk and its documentation. He is also coauthor of the sixth edition of O'Reilly's Learning the vi Editor. Since late 1997, he and his family have been living happily in Israel.


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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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This book is well written and laid out.
Jonathon Suggs
And even when you learn something new, you have to use it often, as otherwise there is a good chance that you will forget it.
P. Mukherjee
This book is a great intro to vi for beginners and is an excellent desktop reference for people to keep handy.
Kip Perkins

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

24 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Ken of Orange on January 5, 2000
Format: Paperback
The 6th edition of this book is excellent! For the novice, it is very readable, and is able to bring a user up to speed quickly with simple, solid coverage of the basics.
It is also an excellent resource for the more advanced users, with good informative coverage of advanced editting techniques w/vi. The section on the various clones is also well done.
If you get this book, it is worth getting the little vi Editor Pocket Reference book, too, because its small size (~ 7" x 4" & 72 pages), makes it a convenient and easy to use reference book. I keep one of these little guys by the home linux machine, and another one at the office, too.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 8, 1999
Format: Paperback
Vi is a powerful yet difficult editor to learn in the beginning. Although there is an abundance of references on the web, it is very difficult to learn the editor effectively without a book. Even more difficult to learn is the advanced features of the editor. The book has definitely made the learning process as painless as possible. The chapters are arranged in such a way that the reader can learn the editor incrementally without being fed too much information at once. At the end of each chapter there is a reference so the reader can refresh what he/she has learned in the chapter. (This also makes the book a very good reference.) What I like most about the book is in Part II of the book: "Extensions and Clones." The book first gives a summary of all the common USEFUL features of the clonse. Then, in subsequent chapters, the author shows how to use the features in each of the clones. This has made my life much easier because I can look up what I need and then go to the particular chapter (in my case, vim) for the information in the sub-chapter.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 10, 2000
Format: Paperback
This book covers all the trick and traps to the Vi editor. It is an excellent source for anyone who wants to learn vi. It also is excellent for those who want to go beyond the basic.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By B. Connelly on December 9, 1999
Format: Paperback
This book not only covered basic vi, but also variants such as vim, elvis, and more. I knew next to nothing going into this book, and by the end of the first few chapters, I was VERY comfortable with this often scary editor. Now that I know many of the powerful features, there's no going back to the others...
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19 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Alexander E. Paulsen on July 1, 2004
Format: Paperback
When you see someone that knows what they are doing writing with vi you will be amazed. Get a taste of it yourself and you will be hooked.
vi is powerful beyond belief and honestly I had been using it for years before I got this wonderful book from O'Reilly. The power of vi is revealing in this easy to use and well structured reference and learning aid.
Impress your friends with some of the little known and used features and functions. The authio Linda Lamb certainly knows her way around the editor so pay careful attention to the examples she uses to illustrate functions. Many of these can be used almost as-is in your daily work.
I suppose with all the latest WYSWYG word processors vi seems a little dated, but using vi I can create, edit, copy and manipulate documents in a fraction of the time others can by clicking and drilling in a windowed application.
I love vi. It's the raw power thats addicting. Yeah sometimes you can really screw the pooch with a typo but generally vi is fairly forgiving. I should know, my typing stinks but vi is generally kind to me when I mess up.
I rated this book highly in spite of I would have liked a few more examples, but the examples Lamb included are very representative of what you as a user may need and actually use.
This is a typical O'Reilly book - excellent and a worthy addition to any serious compter professionals library.
Hey I just heard that vi is available even to Windows lamers.
Try it folks, give your mouse finger a badly needed rest. Going to vi is like getting out of Chevy Impala into an Indy car. The Chevy may have better seats and A/C, but when you touch that gas pedal you'll be hooked.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 29, 2004
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I had made a couple of attempts to learn vi before, and I just didn't get it. This book made it fairly easy, and introduced me to the power and speed of vi. It lets you get started quickly, with an extremely clean, organized presentation. After a short time using vi I'm convinced that emacs is much more difficult to use properly than vi, and that windows-like editors may be simple to use but they are crippled compared to the functionality of vi. If you use a text editor more than once or twice a week do yourself a favor and learn vi. If you use different unix / linux systems you are almost compelled to learn vi since it is the only editor that's always available. This book also covers vi variants, such as the superb vim.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Erin K. Darling on March 6, 2002
Format: Paperback
O'Reilly & Associates, well-known for quality computer references, have once again done a superb job with this manual for vi. This Unix text editor can often be intimidating for those who haven't been exposed to it, but once a bit of time is spent with vi, it becomes second-nature. This book greatly helps in that endeavor.
Using this book, in conjunction with making vi my default PINE editor (thereby forcing me to become fluent with it, lest my email use become rather slow and awkward,) provided a huge speed boost in learning the vi editor. Vi is very powerful, and is almost always included on every unmodified Unix install. These items, coupled with the fact that vi doesn't automatically insert line breaks (like pico does) make it one of the most-preferred text editors amongst Unix sys-admins.
Not only does _Learning the vi Editor_ cover the essentials, but moves beyond basic editing functions into more powerful features, such as global searches & replacements, customizing the editor, "moving around in a hurry," command combinations, and other advanced vi features. For even better results in using vi, pick up a copy of O'Reilly's _sed & awk_, though it's not necessary for effective vi use.
_Learning the vi Editor_ is written in a friendly, casual voice, and Linda Lamb provides what your input and output will look like for most commands, interspersed with comments that put the reader at ease, such as "Qute forboding, isn't it?" followed by reasons not to be intimidated.
This book will help just about anyone conquer the mighty vi tool, and will help prove vi's superiority over any other Unix text editor. (Ahem - no offense to the emacs gurus out there.)
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