Learning the vi & Vim Editors, 8th edition
by Arnold Robbins and Elbert Hannah
I've read several books about vi and Vim over the years (I've been using it as my main editor since ... 1998?). Many of these I read only partially because they didn't really work for me, but the two listed in my Book Reviews are Practical Vim and Learn VimScript the Hard Way, both excellent books. This one is probably better. I recently attempted to read Arnold Robbins' book (also O'Reilly) on Awk but stumbled to a halt when I found that approximately half of the book was about exceptions. Everything about awk has exceptions, and a lot of them - and trying to muddle through all of those was agonizing. This book, on the other hand, is beautifully constructed: it starts with the simple stuff, and builds on it chapter after chapter. Although of course this is all about 'vi' and 'vim', two of the most divisive pieces of software on the Internet. If you don't "get" Vim already, don't bother reading this book: I doubt it would help. But if you do ... you'll learn a LOT.