Monday, January 26, 2015

The VimL Primer is out!

This is only a little note to let you know that some time ago, The Pragmatic Programmers released The VimL Primer!

Yes, technically, it came out over a week ago. In my defense, I have not yet held a paper copy in my own hands and Amazon still says that it’s not been released.

But. Who cares about whether the noble residents of the world’s largest remaining rainforest consider it released? You can get it today from!

Here. Hear from a few of the brilliant folks who have read it:

“Ben’s book is an eye-opener: I’ve used Vim for years but ignored the power and flexibility it offers. Now I’m paying attention. The VimL Primer is a gentle, thoughtful introduction to a new world for Vim users.”
 — Michael Easter (Software developer, ScreenScape Networks)

“The VimL Primer does an incredible job of showing you how to take one of the most enduring text editors and extend it so that it becomes even more useful. Do you want to bend Vim to your will? This is where you start!”
 — Jared Richardson (Principal Consultant, Agile Artisans, Inc.)

“Everything you need to start working on the next popular Vim plugin.”
 — Mac Liaw (CTO,, Inc.)

Why are you still here? Go get it already! :D

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

On writing a Vim syntax file — and coding in Swift with Vim

In the August 2014 issue of PragPub, there is an article written by yours truly (that is, myself) about writing a Vim syntax file. Syntax files, as the article explains, are what give you the cool highlighting you get in Vim for just about any language under the sun (and for quite a few under other sizable stars, as well). The language we use for an example is Swift, which Apple had just introduced a couple of months before this issue came out.

So anyway: You should get that issue. (Seriously. In spite of my contribution, it’s a good one.)

You can get a hold of the syntax file we write, too, as mentioned toward the end of the article. It’s a Swift syntax file, though, and it is not comprehensive by any stretch of the imagination, since it’s just an example for the article. For the Swift-using Vimmists in the audience (I applaud you), I recommend that you look at what toyamarinyon has at GitHub:

It’s a work of VimL genius and (if you’ve read the article) great for learning more.