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Vim Koans (sanctum.geek.nz)
129 points by janogonzalez on Sept 23, 2012 | hide | past | web | favorite | 13 comments

I realise the point is to show sometimes vim is inappropriate. However, the commands given in the first one are long-winded and not equivalent, I'm not sure the readers who stand to gain from the article will notice this. As I wrote elsewhere...

Having done :v/tcp/d there's no need to match again with :g/tcp/s... since :%s... will do, besides :g//s... would have done. Also, :g/tcp/s/\S\+\s\+\(\S\+\)\s.*/\1/ mandates a whitespace after the second word so it's not equivalent to the given :%!awk '/tcp/ {print $2}'.

I found "The slow student’s despair" truly uplifting. It applies to so much. I'd love to read the original Koan (Koans?) it was modeled after.


Seems a little confused between koans ("gong'an" = "public record") and the Taoist stories of Zhuangzi. But never mind, both are Chinese.

The word "koan" became familiar in English through discussion of Zen koans, and that's how it's read by default unless context suggests a different reading.

These are referencing the "AI koans" dating back to the LISP hackers at MIT: http://catb.org/jargon/html/koans.html

Seems to be somewhat incoherent flamebait about Vi, mainly giving contrived examples where other tools do a better job (how many people think that vim is the right tool for editing CSV? Or vimscript the right language to write a Markdown processor?). If only it were at least funny...

According to Wikipedia (I know, not the most reliable source) a Kōan is a story, dialogue, question, or statement, which is used in Zen-practice to provoke the "great doubt", and test a student's progress in Zen practice.

The main themes in this particular article are that Vi is not a silver bullet, that even using a great tool you can do a lousy lob and that tools are just tools.

So more than an "incoherent flamebait" this is a list of Kōans about Vi created by someone that uses it and other Unix tools on a daily basis (as you can see on his other posts: http://blog.sanctum.geek.nz/)

no. it means "right tool for the right job". vim makes integration with unix pretty easy. that's a main feature and it is highlighted in the koans.


The part about the Windows user is pretty funny, but the whole essay is about using vi when vi is the appropriate tool.

I have to admit I snickered a bit when the student was told to come back when he'd mastered emacs. I struggled to learn it before switching to vi and would still call myself a novice.

You missed the point of those koans. Vim can use external tools like awk to edit CSV and markdown to process markdown. The author was discouraging use of vim itself for things like that.

Edit: And I missed the point of your comment.

Just take a look at the questions on Stack Overflow/Super User and you will see that those silly ideas (and others) are more common than you think.

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