- Taschenbuch: 85 Seiten
- Verlag: O'Reilly UK Ltd.; Auflage: 1 (1. Februar 2015)
- Sprache: Englisch
- ISBN-10: 1680500406
- ISBN-13: 978-1680500400
- Größe und/oder Gewicht: 19,1 x 0,4 x 23,5 cm
- Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: Schreiben Sie die erste Bewertung
- Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 59.292 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)
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The VimL Primer: Edit Like a Pro with Vim Plugins and Scripts (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 1. Februar 2015
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Über den Autor und weitere Mitwirkende
Benjamin Klein is a software developer at Silver Chalice, LLC, where he works with Grails and uses Vim for anything text-based that he can. He has been a longtime writer for GroovyMag and a contributing author to Grails 2: A Quick-Start Guide.
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This book is an introduction to VimL (aka Vimscript), the language that allows
you to script the Vim text editor. Since Vim is also scriptable in, among
others, Perl, Ruby or Python, one might have doubts about the relevance of
learning yet another language, let alone a language that is useless outside
the text editor, and, according to some, a not very well-made language at
that. The answer is that all (not too old) versions of Vim support VimL,
whereas support for other languages depends on the installation; in other
words, a plugin in VimL is portable. As a personal note, I used to script Vim
mostly in Lua before I ran into trouble with Vim on another computer. Since
then, I use VimL exclusively.
Add to that that VimL is really simple to learn, and integrates perfectly with
the rest of Vim (whereas the mixing of Vim commands and non-VimL scripting can
be painful), and you'll definitely want to use it more than any other language
of whatever reputation. Oh, you might choose to use no language at all, and
not script Vim; but then, it's like driving a sports car (an SUV, really) and
choose to remain in second gear.
Now, given that Vim has an excellent help system, why would you need a book to
learn VimL? Because Vim's help is a reference manual and isn't meant as a
practical introduction. This book, on the other hand, is not a reference at
all, but takes you by the hand to build a real working plugin step by step. In
other words, you'll learn by doing, here creating an interface to MPC, itself
an interface to MPD, itself a great way to listen to music.
The book addresses everything from variable types to mappings, including
autoloading (postponing the reading of script files until necessary, thus
avoiding long startup), working with file types, or highlighting code. A lot
is reviewed in the process, and there is a lot to learn if you're new to VimL.
As this is a primer (so the author don't spend too many pages on explanation),
you'll probably scratch your head from time to time, getting stuck in some
places; but then Vim's ":help" command will be exactly what you need. In other
words, this book is like a map: you know where everything is, although you
don't know the details. The details are in Vim itself.
And now for the big question: should you buy this book? The answer is no if
you're looking for a way to learn Vim in general (this is a book about VimL
only!), or if you already know you way in VimL (though you might learn a few
things). But it is a yes if you want a simple yet systematic approach to VimL:
after reading this book, you'll be able to write a plugin, and if you ever do
so, you'll be able to review each and every step and make sure you forget
nothing. With time, you'll probably turn more and more to Vim's internal help,
and forget about this book: but isn't it what a primer is about?
I had heard about his book in the Pragmatic Bookshelf newsletter, and I had looked at it a little, being very interested by the Vim text editor.
But at that time I had such a long backlog of ebooks I'd bought but not read yet that I refrained from buying yet another one.
That said, when Ben Klein asked on the vim_use mailing list if anybody would be interesting in reviewing his book I jumped on the occasion, and so the book leapfrogged the many others on my waiting list.
I started reading it right away, then got sidetracked, then started reading it again, then again left it for a few months.
Finally I started again and read it all, a couple of pages a day, over a little less than a month.
It's a pretty short book (about 60 pages), so you could really read it much faster, in one or two evenings I guess.
I liked it a lot. It gives a very good overview of the various things that can be involved in making a Vim plugin.
The example the book used (interacting with a music library, displaying the list of songs and playing them from the editor) is well-chosen, it's very easy to get your head around and allows us to learn many aspects that might be needed in a Vim plugin.
Not everybody will want to write a Vim plugin, but most Vim users will probaby want to customize their .vimrc, and learning a bit about how plugins are structured is interesting in its own way.
I am a long time vi/vim user who has never done any scripting in Vimscript/VimL. I found the book very well laid out with excellent examples throughout and found it to be an excellent introduction to VimL. It taught me the basics of scripting vim and has given me new challenges as I come up with ideas on how to use vim scripting to make my life easier. Many thanks to Benjamin for writing a readable and useful introduction to VimL.
I highly recommend this book to anyone wanting to learn VimL and to anyone who is new to VimL and wants to expand their use of it.
The book is concise, nicely typeset and easy to read.
I appreciate the choice of the various topics: from the classical details of the vim scripting language, such as data types and looping constructs, to the vim configuration, such as the layout of the .vim directory, down to more editing specific aspects, such as buffers, windows and syntax highlighting. Details are tastefully cherry-picked from the vim documentation, and whenever you want more ":help xyz" is your friend.
All in all, a nice contribution, well suited both for reading while sitting at the terminal, experimenting with the many code snippets, as well as for "half-asleep-train-or-underground-reading" while heading towards/back from a day full of exciting vim editing!