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    1: **Contents**
    3: [[!toc levels=3]]
    5: # Editing
    7: ## Introducing vi
    9: It is not like the vi editor needs introducing to seasoned UNIX users. The vi
   10: editor, originally developed by Bill Joy of Sun Microsystems, is an endlessly
   11: extensible, easy to use *light* ASCII editor and the bane of the newbie
   12: existence. This section will introduce the vi editor to the newbie and perhaps
   13: toss in a few ideas for the seasoned user as well.
   15: The first half of this section will overview editing, saving, yanking/putting
   16: and navigating a file within a vi session. The second half will be a step by
   17: step sample vi session to help get started.
   19: This is intended as a primer for using the vi editor, it is *not by any means* a
   20: thorough guide. It is meant to get the first time user up and using vi with
   21: enough skills to make changes to and create files.
   23: ### The vi interface
   25: Using the vi editor really is not much different than any other terminal based
   26: software with one exception, it does not use a tab type (or curses if you will)
   27: style interface, although many versions of vi *do use* curses it does not give
   28: the same look and feel of the typical curses based interface. Instead it works
   29: in two modes, *command* and *edit*. While this may seem strange, it is not much
   30: different than windows based editing if you think about it. Take this as an
   31: example, if you are using say gedit and you take the mouse, highlight some text,
   32: select cut and then paste, the whole time you are using the mouse you are not
   33: editing (even though you can). In vi, the same action is done by simply deleting
   34: the whole line with `dd` in command mode, moving to the line you wish to place
   35: it below and hitting `p` in command mode. One could almost say the analogy is
   36: *mouse mode vs. command mode* (although they are not exactly identical,
   37: conceptually the idea is similar).
   39: To start up a vi session, one simply begins the way they might with any terminal
   40: based software:
   42:     $ vi filename
   44: One important note to remember here is that when a file is edited, it is loaded
   45: into a memory buffer. The rest of the text will make reference to the buffer and
   46: file in their proper context. A file *only* changes when the user has committed
   47: changes with one of the write commands.
   49: ### Switching to Edit Mode
   51: The vi editor sports a range of options one can provide at start up, for the
   52: time being we will just look at the default startup. When invoked as shown
   53: above, the editors default startup mode is command mode, so in essence you
   54: cannot commence to typing into the buffer. Instead you must switch out out of
   55: command mode to enter text. The following text describes edit start modes:
   57:  * `a` -- Append after cursor.
   58:  * `A` -- Append to end of line.
   59:  * `C` -- Change the rest of current line.
   60:  * `cw` -- Change the current word.
   61:  * `i` -- Insert before cursor.
   62:  * `I` -- Insert before first non blank line.
   63:  * `o` -- Open a line below for insert.
   64:  * `O` -- Open a line above for insert.
   66: ### Switching Modes & Saving Buffers to Files
   68: Of course knowing the edit commands does not do much good if you can't switch
   69: back to command mode and save a file, to switch back simply hit the `ESC` key.
   70: To enter certain commands, the colon must be used. Write commands are one such
   71: set of commands. To do this, simply enter `:`.
   73: Hitting the colon then will put the user at the colon (or *command* if you will)
   74: prompt at the bottom left corner of the screen. Now let us look at the save
   75: commands:
   77:  * `:w` -- Write the buffer to file.
   78:  * `:wq` -- Write the buffer to file and quit.
   80: ### Yanking and Putting
   82: What good is an editor if you cannot manipulate blocks of text? Of course vi
   83: supports this feature as well and as with most of the vi commands it somewhat
   84: intuitive. To yank a line but *not* delete it, simply enter `yy` or `Y` in
   85: command mode and the current line will be copied into a buffer. To put the line
   86: somewhere, navigate to the line above where the line is to be put and hit the
   87: `p` key for the *put* command. To move a line, simply delete the whole line
   88: with the `dd` command, navigate and put.
   90: #### Oops I Did Not Mean to do that!
   92: Undo is pretty simple, `u` undoes the last action and `U` undoes the last line
   93: deleted or changes made on the last line.
   95: ### Navigation in the Buffer
   97: Most vi primers or tutorials start off with navigation, however, not unlike most
   98: editors in order to navigate a file there must be something to navigate to and
   99: from (hence why this column sort of went in reverse). Depending on your flavor
  100: of vi (or if it even *is* vi and not say elvis, nvi or vim) you can navigate in
  101: both edit and command mode.
  103: For the beginner I feel that switching to command mode and then navigating is a
  104: bit safer until one has practiced for awhile. The navigation keys for terminals
  105: that are not recognized or do not support the use of arrow keys are the
  106: following:
  108:  * `k` -- Moves the cursor up one line.
  109:  * `j` -- Moves the cursor down one line.
  110:  * `l` -- Moves the cursor right one character.
  111:  * `h` -- Moves the cursor left one character.
  113: If the terminal is recognized and supports them, the arrow keys can be used to
  114: navigate the buffer in command mode.
  116: In addition to simple *one spot navigation* vi supports jumping to a line by
  117: simply typing in the line number at the colon prompt. For example, if you wanted
  118: to jump to line 223 the keystrokes from editor mode would look like so:
  120:     ESC
  121:     :223
  123: ### Searching a File, the Alternate Navigational Aid
  125: The vi editor supports searching using regular expression syntax, however, it is
  126: slightly different to invoke from command mode. One simply hits the `/` key in
  127: command mode and enters what they are searching for, as an example let us say I
  128: am searching for the expression *foo*:
  130:     /foo
  132: That is it, to illustrate a slightly different expression, let us say I am
  133: looking for *foo bar*:
  135:     /foo bar
  137: #### Additional Navigation Commands
  139: Searching and scrolling are not the only ways to navigate a vi buffer. Following
  140: is a list of succinct navigation commands available for vi:
  142:  * `0` -- Move to beginning of line.
  143:  * `$` -- Move to end of line.
  144:  * `b` -- Back up one word.
  145:  * `w` -- Move forward one word.
  146:  * `G` -- Move to the bottom of the buffer.
  147:  * `H` -- Move to the top line on the screen.
  148:  * `L` -- Move to the last line on the screen.
  149:  * `M` -- Move the cursor to the middle of the screen.
  150:  * `N` -- Scan for next search match but opposite direction.
  151:  * `n` -- Scan for next search match in the same direction.
  153: ### A Sample Session
  155: Now that we have covered the basics, let us run a sample session using a couple
  156: of the items discussed so far. First, we open an empty file into the buffer from
  157: the command line like so:
  159:     # vi foo.txt
  161: Next, we switch to edit mode and enter two lines separated by an empty line,
  162: remember our buffer is empty so we hit the `i` key to insert before cursor and
  163: enter some text:
  165:     This is some text
  167:     there we skipped a line
  168:     ~
  169:     ~
  170:     ~
  171:     ~
  173: Now hit the `ESC` key to switch back into command mode.
  175: Now that we are in command mode, let us save the file. First, hit the `:` key,
  176: the cursor should be sitting in the lower left corner right after a prompt. At
  177: the `:` prompt enter `w` and hit the `ENTER` or `RETURN` key. The file has just
  178: been saved. There should have been a message to that effect, some vi editors
  179: will also tell you the name, how many lines and the size of the file as well.
  181: It is time to navigate, the cursor should be sitting wherever it was when the
  182: file was saved. Try using the arrow keys to move around a bit. If they do not
  183: work (or you are just plain curious) try out the `hjkl` keys to see how they
  184: work.
  186: Finally, let us do two more things, first, navigate up to the first line and
  187: then to the first character. Try out some of the other command mode navigation
  188: keys on that line, hit the following keys a couple of times:
  190:     $
  191:     0
  192:     $
  193:     0
  195: The cursor should hop to the end of line, back to the beginning and then to the
  196: end again.
  198: Next, search for an expression by hitting the `/` key and an expression like so:
  200:     /we
  202: The cursor should jump to the *first occurrence* of *we*.
  204: Now save the file and exit using write and quit:
  206:     :wq
  208: ## Configuring vi
  210: The standard editor supplied with NetBSD is, needless to say, vi, the most loved
  211: and hated editor in the world. If you don't use vi, skip this section, otherwise
  212: read it before installing other versions of vi. NetBSD's vi (*nvi*) was written
  213: by Keith Bostic of UCB to have a freely redistributable version of this editor
  214: and has many powerful extensions worth learning while being still very
  215: compatible with the original vi. Nvi has become the standard version of vi for
  216: BSD.
  218: Amongst the most interesting extensions are:
  220:  * Extended regular expressions (egrep style), enabled with option `extended`.
  221:  * Tag stacks.
  222:  * Infinite undo (to undo, press `u`; to continue undoing, press `.`).
  223:  * Incremental search, enabled with the option `searchincr`.
  224:  * Left-right scrolling of lines, enabled with the option `leftright`; the
  225:    number of columns to scroll is defined by the `sidescroll` option.
  226:  * Command line history editing, enabled with the option `cedit`.
  227:  * Filename completion, enabled by the `filec` option.
  228:  * Backgrounded screens and displays.
  229:  * Split screen editing.
  231: ### Extensions to `.exrc`
  233: The following example shows a `.exrc` file with some extended options enabled.
  235:     set showmode ruler
  236:     set filec=^[
  237:     set cedit=^[
  239: The first line enables the display of the cursor position (row and column) and
  240: of the current mode (Command, Insert, Append) on the status line. The second
  241: line (where \^[ is the ESC character) enables filename completion with the ESC
  242: character. The third line enables command line history editing (also with the
  243: ESC character.) For example, writing `:` and then pressing ESC opens a window
  244: with a list of the previous commands which can be edited and executed (pressing
  245: Enter on a command executes it.)
  247: ### Documentation
  249: The source *tarball* (`src.tgz`) contains a lot of useful documentation on (n)vi
  250: and ex, in the `/usr/src/usr.bin/vi/docs` directory. For example:
  252:  * Edit: A tutorial
  253:  * Ex Reference Manual
  254:  * Vi man page
  255:  * An Introduction to Display Editing with Vi by William Joy and Mark Horton
  256:  * Ex/Vi Reference Manual by Keith Bostic
  257:  * Vi Command & Function Reference
  258:  * Vi tutorial (beginner and advanced)
  261: If you have never used vi, the *Vi tutorial* is a good starting point. It is
  262: meant to be read using vi and it gradually introduces the reader to all the vi
  263: commands, which can be tested while reading. *An Introduction to Display Editing
  264: with Vi* by William Joy and Mark Horton is also a very good starting point.
  266: If you want to learn more about vi and the nvi extensions you should read the
  267: *Ex/Vi Reference Manual* by Keith Bostic which documents all the editor's
  268: commands and options.
  270: ## Using tags with vi
  272: This topic is not directly related to NetBSD but it can be useful, for example,
  273: for examining the kernel sources.
  275: When you examine a set of sources in a tree of directories and subdirectories
  276: you can simplify your work using the *tag* feature of vi. The method is the
  277: following:
  279: 1. `cd` to the base directory of the sources.
  281:        $ cd /path
  283: 2. Write the following commands:
  285:        $ find . -name "*.[ch]" > filelist
  286:        $ cat filelist | xargs ctags
  288: 3. Add the following line to `.exrc`
  290:        set tags=/path/tags
  292:    (substitute the correct path instead of *`path`*.)

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