Sunday, August 28, 2011

Vim: From Essentials to Mastery at OLF 2011

Ohio LinuxFest 2011 is coming up next week, September 9-11. As part of OLF Institute, Bill Odom and I will be teaching a full-day class on Vim on Friday, September 9. If you're like I was a year or so ago, and you think you know Vim just because you've been using vi forever, you really need to come to our class. Some of the things you can do with Vim will just blow your mind. (And if you don't even know vi, the class will be life-changing. :-)

The main conference is on Saturday, September 10. At 2PM, we'll have a special Vim Geeks Columbus BoF session which, like the rest of the conference on Saturday, you can attend for free.

For more information about the Vim class, see

For more information about OLF 2011, see the web site:

For more information about Vim Geeks, our local Vim users group, see

The full class description follows:

VIM: From Essentials to Mastery

Instructors: Steven Pritchard and Bill Odom

Vim deserves its reputation as one of the most powerful tools in an admin or developer's toolbox -- but it's not exactly friendly and approachable. Even long-time users rarely employ more than a fraction of its capabilities, and new users are often left wondering why so many apparently-sane people won't shut up about how awesome it is. The stark UI, the steep learning curve, the host of idiosyncrasies... mastering Vim is a challenge, and that's putting it politely.

In this class, you'll learn why it's worth the effort.

We'll start by covering the essentials of Vim, like modes, motions, operators, and commands, with an emphasis on why Vim works the way it does in addition to how it works. With the fundamentals firmly established, we'll work our way through real-world examples of using Vim to perform astounding feats that poor souls using lesser editors can only imagine. We'll cover ways to integrate Vim with your environment, tailor it to your work, and generally bend it to your every whim. We'll discuss important settings, advanced techniques, useful customizations, handy scripts, must-have plugins, crafty tips, and sneaky tricks.

In short, we'll explore how to use Vim most effectively, so it lives up to the awesome reputation that you'll soon be telling all your disbelieving friends about.

Bios: Steven Pritchard has nearly two decades of Linux and Unix experience. A dedicated Open Source advocate, he founded the Southern Illinois Linux Users Group in 1994 and has been a volunteer developer with Red Hat's Fedora Project since it began in 2003. He is also an author of the award winning LPI Linux Certification in a Nutshell, 2nd Ed (O'Reilly & Associates). Steven currently offers his technical services through the Computer Room, a retail technical sales and service company outside of St. Louis, Missouri.

Bill Odom has over two decades of experience as a systems architect and software developer, working on everything from wiki software for Internet startups to global identity management solutions for Fortune 500 companies. He's also a long-time member of the Open Source community, an active member (and periodic leader) of several user groups in the St. Louis area, and served as president of the Perl Foundation from 2005 through 2007.

Steven and Bill are both long-time users and advocates of Vim, and are the founders of the St. Louis Vim Geeks. They've given several well-received presentations, tutorials, and classes on Vim to many Midwest organizations.