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Linux.com: Easing Into Editors: Vim

Aug 19, 2000, 01:25 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Jim Jones)


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"When you get down to brass tacks, most work done in Linux is facilitated through the use of one of its many editors. You could be writing a quick note, trying to get that darned X windows configuration file tweaked just so, or programming the next great Open Source widget. All of it done, in one way or another in one of Linux's many editors. For added complexity, you are probably new to Linux. You haven't written notes outside of post-its, much less having any idea what an "X windows configuration file" might be (it tells Linux how to set up the X windows system, a Graphical User Interface or GUI, for the display hardware of the computer Linux is running on), nor have you programmed anything other than your coffee maker. That's all right. This series will take you through the fundamentals of working with files in the myriad of editors available to the Linux user. This first installment will deal with one of the "standard" editors found on most Linux systems, vim...."

"The vim editor operates in one of three modes at any one time. Each mode, including input mode, command mode, and status line mode (aka last line mode), is used for specific operations within the editor. In vim, command mode is used to issue short commands (of 1 to a couple characters each) which allow you to manipulate the text or editor environment in a number of ways. Input mode, is used for inputting text into the editor's work buffer (basically the "workspace" of vim before it is committed to the hard drive through a "save" operation). Finally, status line mode is used for issuing longer, more complex commands to the editor. These commands are echoed back to the user in the status line of the editor (demarcated by a ":" at the bottom of the screen) and are executed when the user hits the enter key."

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