bash / vim workflow

vim -
I don't know if you've used sqsh before. But it has a handy feature that allows you to switch into vim to complete editing of whatever complicated SQL statement you are trying to run. But I got to thinking -- why doesn't bash have that? Well, it does. It's called '|'! Jk. Seriously, I'm pretty sure this flow of commands will revolutionize how I administer files. And b/c everything is a file on *nx based distros, well, it's handy. First, if your ls is aliased to ls --color=auto, then create another alias in your .bashrc: alias lsp='ls --color=none' Now, let's say you want to rename all files that begin with the prefix 'ras' to files that begin with a 'raster' prefix. You could do it with some bash substitution. But who remembers that? I remember vim macros because I can remember to press 'qa' and how to move around in vim. Plus, it's more incremental. You can check things along the way. That is the secret to development and probably the universe. So type something like: lsp | grep ras Are those all the files you need to move? If not, modify and re-grep. If so, pipe it to vim. lsp | grep ras | vim - Now run your vim macros to modify the first line. Assuming you use 'w' and 'b' to move around, etc., it should work for all lines. Hold down '@@', etc., until your list of files has been modified from ras_a.h ras_a.cpp ras_b.h ras_b.cpp to: mv ras_a.h raster_a.h mv ras_a.cpp raster_a.cpp mv ras_b.h raster_b.h mv ras_b.h raster_b.cpp then run :%!bash then run :q! then be like, whaaaaa? as you realize your workflow got a little more continuous. maybe. YMMV.

By: tmsh
2009-11-10 22:25:36

1 Alternatives + Submit Alt

  • 355 # from zsh-users 356 edit_command_line () { 357 # edit current line in $EDITOR 358 local tmpfile=${TMPPREFIX:-/tmp/zsh}ecl$$ 359 360 print -R - "$PREBUFFER$BUFFER" >$tmpfile 361 exec 362 ${VISUAL:-${EDITOR:-vi}} $tmpfile 363 zle kill-buffer 364 BUFFER=${"$( 365 CURSOR=$#BUFFER 366 367 command rm -f $tmpfile 368 zle redisplay 369 } 370 zle -N edit_command_line

    zsh$ M-v
    bucciarati · 2009-11-10 23:02:56 5

What Others Think

Interesting. That's definitely thinking outside the box. However, an easier way would be: rename 's/^ras/raster/g' *
din7 · 619 weeks and 6 days ago
good point.
tmsh · 619 weeks and 6 days ago
Dude, this is ridiculous. Just set EDITOR to vim and hit "Ctrl-x Ctrl-e" when you're editing on the command line. See the bash manpage and search for edit-and-execute-command or EDITOR.
TeacherTiger · 619 weeks and 6 days ago
Not to mention the fact that if you need to rename a bunch of files at once using a regex, just use the "rename" command.
TeacherTiger · 619 weeks and 6 days ago
Well, every revolutionary idea looks like madness at first! I like bash. I love vim. I shall give it a try...
flatcap · 619 weeks and 6 days ago
ah, i like this edit-and-execute-command -- was what i was looking for. thanks. unfortunately, it doesn't seem to work with 'set -o vi'. so, if i insist on keeping 'vi mode' in bash, alternatives are to patch bash or use zsh (unless i'm missing something). i like the flexibility of the zsh solution, but don't know if zsh will always be available. (nor, of course, a patched version of bash.) not the end of the world, but maybe a concern. so yeah, although it's slightly more verbose, i think i'm going to stick with piping to 'vim -' and then %!bash for now. also, thanks flatcap! the idea of course is that vim macros are adaptive (as would be emacs macros). if you, say, want to do something with recursive substitution that won't work with a simple line of regex, vim macros could still work. plus, you can hack away at the first line macro until it's just right, etc. anyhoo. just thoughts off the top of my head.
tmsh · 619 weeks and 6 days ago
Ctrl-x Ctrl-e is the emacs keybinding for edit-and-execute-command. That command is not bound by default in vi mode, so you need to explicitly bind it (using "bind -m vi-insert" for example). I personally had to explicitly bind a bunch of emacs keybindings that I liked for vi mode (such as Ctrl-a, Ctrl-e, Ctrl-p, Ctrl-n, ...).
TeacherTiger · 619 weeks and 6 days ago
thanks. alt-v seems to work too.
tmsh · 619 weeks and 6 days ago
I have occasionally done something similar to this, for sequentially renaming files as zero-padded numbered files, ordered according to their creation date. However, what I used was something like: gvim :cd /my/dir :%!ls -t *jpg and then, I use dr. chip's sequential numbering system and executed the result. Worked pretty nicely and quickly with recording to a register and playing back the string of commands in vim. Your way is pretty slick, though.
morpheus · 604 weeks and 2 days ago

What do you think?

Any thoughts on this command? Does it work on your machine? Can you do the same thing with only 14 characters?

You must be signed in to comment.

What's this? is the place to record those command-line gems that you return to again and again. That way others can gain from your CLI wisdom and you from theirs too. All commands can be commented on, discussed and voted up or down.

Share Your Commands

Stay in the loop…

Follow the Tweets.

Every new command is wrapped in a tweet and posted to Twitter. Following the stream is a great way of staying abreast of the latest commands. For the more discerning, there are Twitter accounts for commands that get a minimum of 3 and 10 votes - that way only the great commands get tweeted.


Subscribe to the feeds.

Use your favourite RSS aggregator to stay in touch with the latest commands. There are feeds mirroring the 3 Twitter streams as well as for virtually every other subset (users, tags, functions,…):

Subscribe to the feed for: