26 April 2010

Text Editor Fu

I enjoyed reading "Staying the hell out of insert mode". I have to concur with the author of this article: insert mode is not the most powerful mode in vi.

I don't claim to be some sort of text editing guru or anything. In my career I've met some people who can do some awesome things with their text editor. I always like learning new tricks and techniques.

Getting back to the article that I mentioned above, for me, the reason why insert mode in vi isn't the most powerful mode in vi is because in command mode you can do things like
'c,.!perl -pe 's/foo/bar/'
...and, if you know anything at all about me, you know that I have a thing for Perl one-liners...

I'm not really a heavy-duty vi user though. I'm more of an XEmacs user. In Emacs/XEmacs, you'd type something more like:
C-u M-| perl -pe 's/foo/bar/'
The one person who reads this blog might be wondering "why not use the natural capabilities of the text editor itself to do transformations like this?". To this I pretty much have to shrug and respond "this works for me". It is probably safe to say that a huge percentage of the code I have ever produced in my life has been produced through keystrokes that start with "C-u M-|".

Basically, I am lazy and I would rather let the computer do the typing for me...

No comments: