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Using Vi in Emacs

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Using Vi in Emacs

The two main commands are:



M-x vip-mode   change from emacs mode to vi mode
C-z            change from vi mode back to emacs mode

(Recall that there are also available viper-mode and vi-mode.) Both for convenience and for easy remembering, I have in my .emacs file (which you should copy, as mentioned earlier) these commands:


C-x v   change from emacs mode to vi mode
C-x e   change from vi mode back to emacs mode

Note that if there are two windows on a buffer, the vi commands work on the two windows as a whole; it is just one buffer, i.e. just one file. So, for instance, when I was searching for the string `WordCount' in the example above, I first typed



using the standard vi search command `/', and then moved to the other window and simply typed `n'. This is also a standard (though possibly new to you) vi command, meaning, ``Repeat the last search.'' So it did look for a string `WordCount', even though I had changed windows.

Just as ordinary vi will automatically read a file .exrc from your home directory, and read in customization commands from it, one can do this here too. In my .emacs file in my home directory, I have put the two lines


(local-set-key "]" 'vip-scroll)
(local-set-key "[" 'vip-scroll-back)

after the line



The latter line has emacs start up in vip-mode, and then the ``local'' commands apply to that mode. Whenever I am using vip-mode, the ] and [ keys will have the same meaning as vi's usual scroll-forward and scroll-backward commands, i.e. C-f and C-b.


Using Emacs for Compiling Programs

To compile a program whose source code you are editing in emacs, type


M-x compile

Since in a debugging session one will compile many times, to save typing, I have in my .emacs file bound C-x c to M-x compile, so I need type only C-x c.

Here is what happens when I type the compile command:


/* introductory C program */

/* implements (a subset of) the Unix wc command  --  reports character,
   word and line counts; in this version, the "file" is read from the
   standard input, since we have not covered C file manipulation yet,
   but of course a real file can be read by using the Unix `<' redirection
   feature */

#define MaxLine 200

char Line[MaxLine];  /* one line from the file */

int NChars = 0,  /* total number of characters in the file */
    NWords = 0,  /* total number of words in the file */
Compile command: make -k

Note the minibuffer here (`Compile command: make -k'). Though you can't see it here, the cursor is right after the -k. Emacs is waiting for me to confirm that this is the compile command which I want. I want a different one, so I use the Delete key (or Backspace key, on some terminals) to erase the `make -k', and then put in the compile command which I want, which in this instance is `cc -g WC.c': The screen now looks like this:


/* introductory C program */

/* implements (a subset of) the Unix wc command  --  reports character,
   word and line counts; in this version, the "file" is read from the
   standard input, since we have not covered C file manipulation yet,
   but of course a real file can be read by using the Unix `<' redirection
   feature */

#define MaxLine 200

char Line[MaxLine];  /* one line from the file */

int NChars = 0,  /* total number of characters in the file */
    NWords = 0,  /* total number of words in the file */
Compile command: cc -g WC.c

I then hit the return key, and emacs creates a new buffer for the compile:


/* introductory C program */

/* implements (a subset of) the Unix wc command  --  reports character,
   word and line counts; in this version, the "file" is read from the
   standard input, since we have not covered C file manipulation yet,
cd /usr/home/matloff/Courses/40/Progs/
cc -g WC.c

(No files need saving)

Eventually, that new buffer will include a `Compilation finished' message, and will display any syntax errors which it found. If there are any such errors, I can keep typing


C-x `

(C-x and then a backward apostrophe), and emacs will automatically go to the buffer for my source file, and position the cursor at the source of the error; this is a big convenience.

By the way, note the message `No files need saving'. If I had made a modification to the source file, emacs would have asked me if I wanted to save the file before compiling it.

I then invoke gdb. (Note: You probably will prefer to use ddd, a very nice graphical user interface for gdb. To do this in coordination with gdb, type "M-x gdb", then at the prompt change the command to "ddd --ttt --gdb". Be sure ddd is in your search path.) Emacs will ask me what the executable file name is, in this case a.out. Emacs will create a new buffer for gdb. Then I give gdb a breakpoint command, to stop at the function WordCount(), and I type r to run. When the program reaches the breakpoint, my screen looks like


Breakpoint 1 at 0x40023c: file WC.c, line 43.
(gdb) r < z
Starting program: /usr/home/matloff/Courses/40/Progs/a.out < z

Breakpoint 1, WordCount () at WC.c:43

int WordCount()

{  int I,NBlanks = 0;

=> for (I = 0; I < LineLength; I++)
      if (Line[I] == ' ') NBlanks++;

   /* ordinarily the number of words is NBlanks+1, except in the case
      in which the line is empty, i.e. consists only of the end-of-line
      character */

There are now two buffers displayed on the screen, my gdb buffer at the top and my WC.c buffer at the bottom. Note the marker `=>' in the latter; it shows that my next source-line statement is


for (I = 0; I < LineLength; I++)
   if (Line[I] == ' ') NBlanks++;

If for example I give gdb an n command now, it will execute that statement (and the `=>' marker will then advance to the next line).

Note again that if I want to restore the WC.c buffer to be displayed in full-screen instead of half-screen form, I merely need to type C-x o to switch to the WC.c buffer, and then type C-x 1.

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Keywords: Using Vi in Emacs, Emacs, Emacs, Emacs tutorial, Emacs tutorial pdf, history of Emacs, Custamizing Style Sheet, learn Emacs

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