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Working title: Practical Vim

I am very pleased to announce that the Pragmatic Bookshelf will be publishing my book on Vim. The working title is Practical Vim, and I hope to complete it by the spring of 2011. Here is a synopsis:

For an open source project Vim’s documentation is impressive in scope, but there is still a considerable barrier between the novice and the productive Vim user. Whereas it is possible to improve as a programmer or writer by reading other people’s code, poetry or prose, there are fewer opportunities to learn how to use an editor effectively. Vim’s documentation reads like a dictionary; I propose to write a phrasebook.

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ArrrrCamp presentation: Vim - walking without crutches

Last week, I gave a presentation at ArrrrCamp called Vim – walking without crutches. You can now watch the video on their website. Here’s the synopsis for my talk:

In his provocatively titled blog post “Everyone Who Tried to Convince Me to use Vim was Wrong”, Yehuda Katz showed how he switched from TextMate to Vim without experiencing an initial dip in productivity. Begin by emulating the working environment that you are comfortable with, then adopt Vims idioms as and when you discover them. This is a welcome alternative to the hazing “do everything the Vim way from day 1” approach, which is widely advocated by veterans. Anything that offers a leg-up Vims infamous learning curve is to be commended. But be careful not to get too comfortable. Mastering Vim requires a change in mindset and if you don’t break some of your old habits you could miss out.

I will begin by showing how a TextMate user can make Vim feel almost like home. I will show what preferences you can set in your vimrc file, and which plugins you can install to emulate the TextMate experience. Like walking with crutches, some of these features are useful while you build your strength, but if you can learn to walk without them you will be able to move faster. I will show how.

Note that you have to have Silverlight installed to watch the video. A few people on Twitter have asked if it will be made available in another format. The organisers said that “it was this or no videos at all”, so you can like it or lump it.

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Fill out the Vim user survey

I am considering writing a book on Vim. By filling out this survey, you can help me to gauge interest and target the book at the right level.

Thanks, Drew

Mac Classic - a light colorscheme

I could never find a light colorscheme for Vim that I enjoyed using, so I finally took the time to port the “Mac Classic” theme from TextMate. The source code is on gitub, so feel free to fork it.

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Vimcasts on vacation

I’m going to be taking a short break from Vimcasts to travel around India and Indonesia. I’ll be back in September, and a new season of Vimcasts will follow. If you’re eager to see more episodes, please show your support by leaving a tip - you can donate with paypal, or flattr me.

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Vimcasts adopts Flattr for micropayments

A number of people have contacted me to say that they would love to leave a tip, but object to using PayPal – the only method I provided for making donations. I had never heard of Flattr until recently, but a few people have requested that I integrate it into I’ve always liked the idea of micro payments, so I thought I would give it a shot.

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Vimcasts now available on Boxee

Boxee allows you to watch movies, TV shows and clips from the Internet on your TV. Ever since Vimcasts launched, people have been saying “get it added to boxee”. Thanks to Clayton Parker I am happy to announce that there is now a Vimcasts app for Boxee.

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SyntaxHighlighter Vimscript brush and Blackboard theme

Here on, I use Alex Gorbatchev’s SyntaxHighlighter to colorize the code excerpts. I couldn’t find a syntax ‘brush’ for Vimscript, so I wrote my own. I also created a color theme based on the Blackboard scheme that I use in Vim (and TextMate).

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Short form URLs for episodes now has it’s own short form URLs. You can link to each episode by number, using the form /e/10 to link to episode 10. You can also link to the episodes archive with the trailing path /e/a.

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