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Vi iMproved (VIM) 1st Edition

23 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 075-2064710011
ISBN-10: 0735710015
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Editorial Reviews

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.


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 624 pages
  • Publisher: Sams Publishing; 1 edition (April 21, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0735710015
  • ISBN-13: 978-0735710016
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 1.4 x 8.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #958,179 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

132 of 134 people found the following review helpful By David DelGreco on July 23, 2001
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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67 of 71 people found the following review helpful By James Snyder on 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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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By B. Ambrosius on October 17, 2006
Format: Paperback
I agree with David DelGreco. My review is mixed because a lot is covered and well explained, but the information is dispersed all over the place and sometimes plain wrong. It would be good to see sections for the *mouse way*, *visual way* and *Vi-ish way* from the start.

I have two criticisms that I have not read in the other reviews that makes my opinion rather negative. First and foremost, the book is STIFF. A tutorial book should remain open on the page without having to put your hand on it. I'm having it beside me now, and the only page that is willing to remain open is the title page. Even thumbing to the index is a chore. It's like paging through a carton book for 2-year olds. I have a grandchild now, so I know how it feels. It makes the book almost unusable.

My second criticism is the chosen font. You can hardly see the difference between uppercase and lowercase, and that is rather important. I've had several times wondering why a command didn't work because of this.

And why are 'vimrc' and 'configuration file' not in the index? I still have to find them somewhere in the book. I gave up and looked up on the internet how to set the colorscheme in vimrc (it's ":colorscheme desert" b.t.w.)

So a lot of it is good and it has some really bad points. Mixed feelings...
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful By C. L. on August 29, 2002
Format: Paperback
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 available. For example, :split instead of :sp; :buffer instead of :b ...
It will be nice if author at least mentioned the alternative.
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