Thursday, May 26, 2011

VI trick of the year

Sometimes the faster you type the slower you are.

Yesterday I was working on a configuration file, commenting and uncommenting about 10 different lines. Being a somewhat fast typist, the keyboard gymnastics required to add "--" to the beginning of 10 lines of code wasn't daunting enough to make me consider better ways to get the job done.

Those keyboard gymnastics consisted of the following 6 keypresses per line commented out:
i to insert
-- to comment the line out
ESC to go back to command mode
down arrow
then zero to go to the beginning of the line

I suppose if this had been 25 or 50 or whatever that unknowable mental threshold of "too many lines", I would have used awk or sed to get the job done.

My new coworker saw what I was doing, and asked why I didn't use the repeat command. Que? I asked?

Apparently hitting a period while in command mode will repeat the last insert/append that took place in edit mode. So simply made the change once in edit mode, then hit "." to repeat on the next line.

Ok, maybe not the "trick of the year". Maybe trick of the day is more appropriate, but I'm sure this is one of those tips that I'll be using on a daily basis -- a somewhat year changing event.

No comments: