Tuesday, January 3, 2017

vim as a command line util

For quick find, edit, search and/or replace actions vi | vim | gvim is a perfect tool. A research question for me was: is it also a tool for automation? I wanted to search and replace strings with vi-syntax through a batch file (yeah... using windows makes the thing even more special) which can be scheduled or called on demand.

... and yes... it works. see: http://stackoverflow.com/questions/6945558/calling-search-and-replace-functions-for-vim-from-within-a-bash-script ... the trick is to start in "Ex-Mode" ... (see: documentation), but unfortunately it did not worked for me... I was not able to make it work in my script... no idea why... but:

then I found the -c option which is simple and works perfectly... -c executes a command like substitutions or other stuff and can be used in a chain of "-c"s.

my test-environment:
echo. >> data.txt
del data.txt
echo data data data > data.txt

type data.txt
gvim -c %%s/data/0101/g -c wq data.txt
echo _____________________________________________________
type data.txt

it outputs data before the substitution and 0101 after it... perfect!


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