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Learning Vim from the inside

Class length: 8 weeks. Start anytime.

Creator: pbr

Status: Established

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Languages: English Spanish and Brazilian Portuguese speaking students welcome.


Students are challenged to quickly work through the first 3 lessons, then focus on at least one lesson in lesson 4. This is where the real learning will happen!!!

OVERVIEW: Students explore Vim from the inside by downloading the source from Vim's mercurial repository and embarking on a number of "code spelunking" efforts. We are reviewing the source code using Vim itself (eating our own dogfood) as well as using a few lesser-known but powerful tools for exploring source code. Students should have access to a Linux system, but do not need to be conversant with mercurial or with Vim's build process. Extending and compilng your own custom version of Vim will be an optional part of the course.

Lessons 1 and 2 tool and source code download

Lesson 3 optionally compiling the source, and your first explorations of the Vim source code

Lesson 4 deep source code explorations based on student recommendations

Prerequisites and Difficulty

Students will need to be able to install new packages on their Linux computers. They'll need access to 'root privs' to do package installs.


  • sudo apt-get install id-utils
  • sudo apt-get install mercurial

Students should:

  • be comfortable using the bash shell
  • have used Vim to edit files already
  • have downloaded and compiled the source of at least one other application

Materials and Technical Requirements

Requirements for successful completion of this course:

  • a linux box
  • sufficient hard drive space
  • willingness to learn
  • curiosity
  • gumption
  • a little free time

How Curious Reef Works

The purpose of the class is to learn collaboratively with others.
The course creator has organized the course information for everyone.

  • Complete one lesson and its assignments per week
  • Submit and self-grade your own work
  • Help each other in the class forum


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