Cover image for Wizards Use Vim! My New Book on Vim

Wizards Use Vim! My New Book on Vim

vintharas profile image Jaime πŸ”₯πŸ§™β€β™‚οΈπŸ”₯ Updated on ・5 min read

The Wizards Use Vim Logs (4 Part Series)

1) Wizards Use Vim! My New Book on Vim 2) The Wizard Logs - Part I - The Adventures, Glory and Misfortunes of Writing Wizards Use Vim 3) The Wizard Logs - Part II - The Adventures, Glory and Misfortunes of Writing Wizards Use Vim 4) The Wizard Logs - Part III - The Adventures, Glory and Misfortunes of Writing Wizards Use Vim

I. must. write.


As you may know I've been tinkering a lot with vim lately and after having spent some time experimenting with vim in-depth and writing some articles I thought...

Hmm... Wouldn't it be super cool to write a book on Vim set in the same fantasy world than the JavaScript-mancy series? It could be something like a prequel that would expand on the background of the JavaScript-mancy universum. It could even reveal the story of some of the characters people has already learned to love (or hate) in the previous books. It would be a great warmup to come back to the JavaScript-mancy series with renewed energy. Awesome!

And so that little embryo of an idea sparked what is now ~120 pages of Wizards Use Vim. The book as of right now is a series of drafts from previous articles and an introduction that is slightly polished and improved. My current plan is to have a complete final draft of all the chapters as soon as possible and then start the tough part of editing them from the beginning.

Behold the first three drafts for the front cover!

Wizards Use Vim Cover Art Draft 1
Wizards Use Vim Cover Art Draft 2

For this new book I thought I'd do something slightly different with the art and actually draw the cover by hand on an iPad. I'm not super good at drawing but we'll see where determination and iteration gets me. That's definitely an area that I want to improve this year so killing two birds with one stone here. I'm also planning to add more art within the book itself as a visual aid to help learn vim:

Concept art to use throughout the book as supporting material for the text

I'm experimenting with different types of calligraphy. This one looks better. More scroll-of-arcane-magic looking:

Concept art to use throughout the book as supporting material for the text

I'm super excited about this project. The book, as I picture it in my mind, will be a shorter book than the earlier books in the JavaScript-mancy series. An introduction to vim targeted at any software developer interested in improving their text editing prowess and being more productive (inside or outside of vim, as in, it will have a chapter devoted to vim in VSCode and it will encourage you to adopt as much or less vim as you want in your current workflow).

If that sounds like you then you can get an early access to Wizards Use Vim with this free coupons (Free Coupons! Free Coupons!!). I've setup 100 coupons first come, first serve but if you really, really want to be an early reader of the book and provide some feedback just ping me on Twitter (my DMs are open). As I go writing the book you'll receive automatic updates and if you have any thoughts or feedback that you'd like to share with me. Please do! Let's make this book even more awesome.

Oh! I had an idea that you may find fun. At the beginning of each chapter I typically have a quote that relates to the content of the chapter, delivered by people from the world of JavaScript-mancy, and which sometime expands on the lore of this universe. For instance:

// (On polymorphism and duck typing)

If it flights like a dragon,
breathes fire like a dragon,
eats peasants like a dragon,
then, my friend,
that is a dragon.

        - KinnLar Sane,
        Dragon Hunter, 8th Age


// (On ES6 classes)

Classes are useful in that they
let us represent the world around us
in a simplified abstract manner,
reducing an infinite complex world
to the problem at hand.

Writing summoning spells 
for your all-mighty army?
You probably don't need to model
your creatures digestive tract

        - RaezIm Rurat
        Oracle of Kwarok


// (on traits which are a constrained way to compose objects in JS)

Humans are flawed.
Take that into consideration
when designing a tool.

Within your tool, create a path 
to guide your user to success.
Her failure is your failure.

        - Iamnos Ydad
        Spellsmith, 1st Age


// (on meta-programming)

Shaping the world
is a noble pursuit,

Shaping the shaping,
Crafting the crafting,
is the mark of masters

        - Sylo Peskimn
        Master Artificer        

If you're into this sort of thing. I'm happy to take your submissions and if they fit, I'll immortalize you in the book for ever and ever.

There's more in the works (or at least in the works within my head)!

  • I want the print version of this book to be beautiful, so we'll see how I manage that. The current version is in leanpub but I don't think that will give me control enough to produce what I'm imagining in my head.
  • There will be a highly interactive version of the book online that you'll be able to browse and play with. As in using vim in the browser. It will be awesome.
  • I'm planning to write a game to help you learn vim. The main character will be this dude (a much younger version of someone within the series. Guess who):

But of course as things usually goes we'll see how far my enthusiasm and determination get me and how much of this gets done :D.

I leave you with a small part of the introduction:

This is a weird programming book. On one hand it is a awesome book on the superb vim text editor. On the other a spell book of sorts set in a world of fantasy where some people can wield JavaScript to affect the world around them. To essentially program the world and bend it to their will.

Welcome to the world of JavaScript-mancy, may you enjoy your stay, learn and have a lot of fun.

P.S. For those of you happy to join this journey. The most convenient way to read the book at this point is online. I'll be updating the book on a daily basis and having to download new versions all the time can be a pain in back. The pdf does provide a nicer reading experience so choose your own tradeoff. Both can be downloaded from the leanpub library once you get the book. Enjoy!

The Wizards Use Vim Logs (4 Part Series)

1) Wizards Use Vim! My New Book on Vim 2) The Wizard Logs - Part I - The Adventures, Glory and Misfortunes of Writing Wizards Use Vim 3) The Wizard Logs - Part II - The Adventures, Glory and Misfortunes of Writing Wizards Use Vim 4) The Wizard Logs - Part III - The Adventures, Glory and Misfortunes of Writing Wizards Use Vim

Posted on Jan 6 '19 by:

vintharas profile

Jaime πŸ”₯πŸ§™β€β™‚οΈπŸ”₯


Front-end Software Engineer at Google working on Google Meet πŸ‘¨β€πŸ’» Helping developers be more awesome πŸ”₯ author, speaker & nerd πŸ§™πŸΌβ€β™‚οΈ into JavaScript, TypeScript, Vim & pixelart ❀️


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I love the style. Looking forward to the finished product!


Just bought your JavaScript-Mancy bundle and I'm really enjoying the format and style that you have done especially with using magic as a way to convey concepts; It makes for a very interesting read without missing the point of the concepts!

I can't wait to get this book! Definitely will try to get a physical copy!


That is awesome!!! :D

DM an address in Twitter and I'll send you some :)


I like the images, such as the Basic Motion Keys. The Basic Motion Keys image is whimsical and informative. I like both whimsy and information.

I encourage more of that!


Thank you!!

Oh yeah! Whimsical is the name of tha game :D


Looks amazing! Looking forward to the book :D


Thank you!! _^ Hope to live up to your expectations :D


This looks really interesting! Amazing work and hope to give it a good read when you release it!


Got the book! Looks really good. Would love to share the feedback as I go deep into it. Cheers!


Got it and it's currently leading on my 1-position reading list! (I always choose only the next book that I'm going to read, never further than that.)


Awesome!!!! Be aware though that the book right now is an incomplete collection of rough drafts. I'm working quickly to have a final draft of the book asap but the artwork and reviewing always take infinite time. :D


I was reading your articles and think what you write useful book for every how can understand Vim


I can’t seem to find a link to the online version.


Hi Jonathan. You can find it in your leanpub library. Once in the library, click on wizards use vim and you'll see the option. I find the pdf more pleasant to read but with the online version you don't need to download anything πŸ™‚


Casual Vim user here, though reading vigorously. Looking forward to the full version!


Awesome! I'm writing vigorously as well to get a final draft asap :D


Wizards use whatever is here right now. Notepad++, echo > ..., paper, sands on the beach.

Vim is a tool, maybe even good. I do use it. Still...


This is definitely a reference to the genius Mr Pratchett :)



Oh that is gold. That's exactly the whimsical feeling I want to get with this book and other books of the JavaScript-mancy series. How didn't I think of Terry Pratchett?? It's the perfect inspiration. I must dive into his books right away. I've only read The Colour of Magic and that was aaaages ago.