New Zine! How to Quit Vim

New Zine! How to Quit Vim

Hey there! This is Nat Bennett, from Simpler Machines, a newsletter about software.

This week I launched a new zine, called How to Quit Vim. It's twenty pages, you can print it out, you'll probably learn something new even if you've used Vim for a long time, and it's free.

Get it on Gumroad.

How to Quit Vim
Want to start using Vim? You need to know how stop. This is, famously, a little bit mysterious. This zine will teach you how to quit Vim -- with confidence.Not only does this zine contain 5 (5!) different ways to quit Vim, it explains why quitting Vim is so hard. What is about Vim that means sometimes :q quits, sometimes types out the letters ”:” and “q,” and sometimes doesn’t do anything?You’ll also learn tips that everyone who uses Vim regularly knows, but no one ever writes down, like, “If you’re ever not sure what’s happening just jam the ESC key a few times.“If you already use Vim, you’ll probably find this zine funny -- and useful to share with colleagues who are Vim-curious.You’ll getA PDF version of this zine formatted for reading on a screenA PDF version of this zine formatted for printingYou’ll learnFive different commands for quitting VimThe rare “ZZ” commandThree reasons why quitting Vim might not work the way you expectThe three basic Vim modes (NORMAL, COMMAND, and INSERT)How to switch between modesWhy the escape key is your friendWhat are buffers, file, and windows, and what does quitting do to them?Unlock this unstoppable power that you always knew you had. Stop using Vim today!Questions? Suggestions? Corrections? More ways to quit Vim? E-mail me at nat@simplermachines.comYou can also get more Vim (and Neovim) powers by signing up for Nat’s Neovim Newsletter,

This one's version 0.3.0, and I'd appreciate any feedback you have. I've already made several updates based on comments readers and I'd love to make more. Questions, comments, corrections – whatever you've got, e-mail me at "nat at this website" or leave a comment or leave a comment here.

I'm also exploring how to make a hand-printed paper version with nice cover stock. This will probably be a signed & numbered limited print run, once I've got a nice 1.0.0 that I'm happy with. So keep your eyes peeled for that.


In the meantime – what do you need from me?

I'm expecting to have a little more time next week to spend writing. I've got a bunch of stuff in my notes and e-mails that I want to write up properly.

The list includes but is not limited to:

  • Why & how Pivotal moved engineers between teams so damn much
  • Why & how Pivotal did breakfast
  • More about "how things were" at Pivotal
  • More about "how things were" at Pivotal in general
  • What happened when we started tracking test failures in Cloud Foundry's acceptance tests
  • More about release engineering and scaling XP at Cloud Foundry
  • Why does story size matter?
  • My default approach to organizing code
  • Advice to my younger self – the things I wish I'd known about programming before I learned how to do it
  • Advice to my earlier-career self – problems I had in the 2-4 year zone and what I wish I'd known then
  • What is "sustainable pace" really
  • The mental side of programming – managing anxiety, energy, and attention during this demanding cognitive activity
  • My personal maintenance practices – all the stuff I do to help keep myself relatively chill as an incredibly tightly wound person who got sick of being so mad all the time
  • The spiritual side of programming – how do we get meaning from our work? Should we get meaning from our work? If we don't, where do we get meaning? How does a software job fit into, like, the 80 years of a human life?
  • Does the god of your understanding care if you write code?

If any of that sounds especially interesting – or if there's another topic you'd like to hear about – let me know in the comments here or e-mail me at "nat at this website."

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