On Oct 20, 2006, at 1:39 AM, A.J.Mechelynck wrote:
I recently had a very similar conversation with three guys on #vim
Basicaly, there is two official help for Vim:
- the vimtutor
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-
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
- Configure once, use everywhere (or how to adapt your config to a
- 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
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
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.
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.