Zeal + Vim = offline CakePHP (and other) documentation

As any long time Vim user, I’m constantly looking for ways to tweak and improve my text editor configuration, and make me even more efficient.  Today, I came across a very handy addition – Zeal – an offline documentation browser for developers. (Thanks to this blog post, which also mentions Dash as an alternative for those of you on the MacOS.)

With Zeal, you can download a whole lot of documentation sets for pretty much any web development technology out there – programming languages, frameworks, libraries, tools, and more.  And then you can easily integrate Zeal with whatever text editor or IDE you are using.

For Vim, there are, as always, several options.  Some of them are listed here. I personally opted for the Zeavim plugin.  The installation is straight forward and everything works out of the box.  After giving a quick try, I decided to adjust my .vimrc file to use CakePHP framework documentation together with the PHP programming language documentation whenever I’m working with any PHP file.  Here’s what I had to add:

" Zeal offline documentation
let g:zv_file_types = {
       \ 'php': 'cakephp,php',
       \ }

Now, whenever I edit a PHP file and hit “,z” (I use comma as a leader, by the way), Zeal window pops up with the relevant documentation search.

It’s super fast. It works offline, and it’s awesome!

Vim as a PHP IDE – the complete guide

Vim as a PHP IDE – the complete guide” is yet another one of those lengthy articles on how to setup Vim as an IDE (Integrated Development Environment), specifically so for PHP developers.

Over the years, it’s interesting to see how with more powerful Vim, such guides become more and more focused on the selection and configuration of the plugins, rather than on tweaking Vim configuration.

Turning vim into an IDE through vim plugins

Turning vim into an IDE through vim plugins” is yet another take on customizing the Vim text editor and making it into a full featured IDE.  Most of these things were possible for years (I even had my own blog post on the subject), but with every version of Vim it gets easier and easier to setup a more advanced developer environment.

Vim after 15 years

Vim after 15 years” is yet another one of those “my Vim configuration review” posts by someone who has been using Vim for 15 years or so.

As someone who is also a long time Vim user, I have to say it’s quite common to review your configuration once in a while and remove some outdated bits which made it into plugins and Vim core, update plugins to newer versions, and replace plugins with newer alternatives.

spf13-vim : The Ultimate Vim Distribution

spf13-vim is an amazing Vim distribution with cross-platform configuration and a large bundle of plugins, aimed at programmers in all sorts of languages.  Those of you just starting with Vim, or using a very basic configuration, give this one a spin.  And for the rest of us, ancient farts with 10+ year old configurations, this distribution provides plenty of inspiration for plugins and configuration options to try and play with.

I’ve seen a variety of Vim distributions and bundles over the years, but nothing came close to this amazing setup.  Very well done!

Graphical vi-vim Cheat Sheet and Tutorial

Graphical vi-vim Cheat Sheet and Tutorial is yet another attempt to explain and visualize Vim commands to the editor’s new users.

This is a single page describing the full vi/vim input model, the function of all keys, and all major features. You can see it as a compressed vi/vim manual.

A Practical Guide to Linux Commands, Editors, and Shell Programming

I came across the second edition of the Prentice Hall’s “A Practical Guide to Linux Commands, Editors, and Shell Programming” by Mark G. Sobell (original link).  This is a rather lengthy book at just over 1,000 pages, covering everything from history of Linux and basic commands, all the way to bash, Perl, and sed, and how things work both on the inside and outside.

It’s probably not one of those books to read from cover to cover, but quite handy to keep as a reference and flip a few pages once in a while.

Using Vim as a PHP IDE

Jon Cairns wrote “Using Vim as a PHP IDE” blog post a good five years ago, but a lot of it still relevant and useful. It covers all the usual – syntax highlighting, syntax checking/linting, tags and auto-completion, coding style and mess detecting, unit testing and debugging. As many other similar guides, he links to a variety of plugins and provides configuration tips.

Stack Overflow: Helping One Million Developers Exit Vim

OK, this one is socially funny and statistically cool – Stack Overflow question on how to exit Vim editor was viewed over a million times in the last few years.  Now, there’s a breakdown of all sorts of statistics about who gets stuck in Vim the most.  It’s pretty amazing the kind of questions and answers one can ponder at when having access to a lot of statistical data.

:wq