Essays

category applies to 5 articles:

Follow my leader

Choosing a key-map for your custom Vim commands can be difficult. The common advice is to use <leader> for user-defined mappings, but that’s not the only option. There are dozens of two-key mappings that are not bound to any built-in functionality. These available mappings are easy to find if you follow a simple formula.

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To the newcomer, Vim’s way of doing things may seem strange, but with familiarity it becomes natural. Many of Vim’s features seemed odd to me at first, but when I got used to them I recognised that they had their own particular elegance. However, there’s one feature of Vim that still feels awkward to me: using registers for copy and paste. The deeper my understanding of registers becomes, the more they frustrate me!

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Habit breaking, habit making

Moving your Vim cursor around using the arrow keys is a bad habit, and like many bad habits it’s a difficult one to break!

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Do you avoid using Vim’s split windows because they’re confusing? That might be a problem of your own devising. If you’ve bolted a project drawer onto Vim, then you’ve added unnecessary complexity to Vim’s otherwise minimal interface. Split windows and the project drawer go together like oil and vinegar. I don’t mean to say that you can combine them to create a delicious salad dressing. I mean that they don’t mix well!

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On sharpening the saw

Vim users sit somewhere on a spectrum, based on how much they customize their editor. At one end of the spectrum, there are those who use Vim with no customizations whatsoever. At the other end are those who customize Vim to the point where it barely resembles the stock install.

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