On Oct 20, 2006, at 1:39 AM, A.J.Mechelynck wrote:

vim wrote:
Hi everobody,
I recently had a very similar conversation with three guys on #vim (irc.freenode.net).
Basicaly, there is two official help for Vim:
   - the vimtutor
   - :help
And that's basically it.
:help being your Vim dictionnary/encyclopedia/bible, it's very complete and has everything in it but it's hardcore to read and understand. Unfortunately, it's not easy at all to go through and to 'get' the way it works. I believe that there is room between vimtutor and :help to have some beginner to intermediate tutorial that will take you by the hand and bring you through the Vim universe in a nice and easy way. Let's not forget (especially for the Vim gurus out there) that Vim is very powerful but because of that it can be very hard to understand sometimes or even to adapt to it and make it your favourite text editor. Of course Google is your friend but the sheer ammount of tutorials out there can easily make you go left, right and center and basically not teach you anything useful but some 'tips and tricks' that is cool but won't make you code faster or deeply understand Vim. So I think that there is room for some official tutorial after the vimtutor and before a perfect use of the ultimate :help. The tutorial will totally avoid to be a scientific precision on how-to- exactly-define-terms-the-best-way-possible-using-the-less-words- possible. The tutorial should be well written and take time to explain things to novice in simple words. The idea is to bring people to the Vim highway efficiently. Such a basic tutorial could _also_ help novices to avoid asking questions that will make any Vim guru feel like saying: 'RTFM'
As an example, here are some topics proposed:
- Phylosophy behind Vim
Where you would learn why it will help you to be faster in your everyday coding and what the user has to understand to truely enjoy Vim (talk about the need to touch-type to be truely efficient for instance)
- Phylosophy behind the three modes (Normal, Visual, Insert)
- Phylosophy behind the command line mode
- Differences between Vi and Vim
- Explain the folder structure and how the various config files work
- Differences between Vim on Windows, Mac, Linux, Unix and console use - Configure once, use everywhere (or how to adapt your config to a different platform)
- etc.
- The big apple : Think different!
Where you would learn that you need to think gg instead of 'CTRL-home' or xp to invert the order of two letters etc. This could have a list of standard keyboard shortcuts mapped to a list of Vim shortcuts.
- Basics of Vim variables (:set :let etc.)
- My first function : hello world!
- Basic understanding of filetypes
- Basic folding
- Basics of syntax highlighting
- Basic mappings & abbreviations
- etc.
Help!  I need somebody
- Phylosophy behind the :help command: how to 'think' :help
- How to use :help efficiently
- Good references to go one step further
- etc.
Of course, this is only a guide of what would be useful to a beginner but I firmy believe that some official tutorial is needed. Maybe this could be achieved by doing a 'best off' the various tutorials already available.
Let me know what you think of this,

I think that between the tutor and help, tere are also the vimFAQ and vimtips (both at vim-online).

You seem to have interesting ideas. Maybe you should discuss them with the FAQ maintainer.

Best regards,

As one of the potential beneficiaries of the proposed document, I'd like to add that what I have a hard time finding are the 'philosophy' items mentioned in the proposal. I'd like to get a better understanding of the way Vim views text, what the modes are for, etc. i.e. the bigger picture.

I find :help to be excellent when I know what question to ask, but often lack the context to know where best to look. Reading this list helps fill in the concepts in an ad hoc sort of way, but a more systematic exposition would be nice.

HTH, Hal

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