Sunday, September 16, 2012

Vim is Like a Big School

Vim is like a big school. When the first-graders come they are shown their playground and classrooms, the washrooms and the canteen. They are happy and content running around in their little world. When they accidentally stumble into the 6th graders' hall, they o_O and run away in terror. It’s only when they are walking alongside a grown-up that they happily follow along, walking right through the scary hall without realising it. Soon those same kids are running through all the halls without fear.

Don’t be afraid to explore your Vim grounds. Sure, you may stumble into uncharted territory and see something really scary - but it’s mostly harmless and there are only a few rooms with auto-closing doors… And the basement is a little tricky to get out of… And you might trip and stumble or run into something sharp and painful. You might even end up running away, screaming. Wear your brown pants and a buffer you can afford to lose and you’ll be just fine.

If you need a grown-up’s hand to hold, knock on the #vim office door - there are plenty of cheerful guides in there who are happy to help.

Two of the scariest rooms to try:
  • Enter the basement from normal mode with gQ
    • The basement is not like any other room in Vim… You can’t leave with :q but must instead scream the school’s Latin name: :vi!
  • Wait in the principal’s office with q:
    • You might also find yourself being sent there for swearing (ctrl-f) on the : command line.