Software to Watch: Vi Everywhere!

I made an effort several years ago to learn the vi key commands, and I have learned to like that user interface.  The key combinations may take a bit to learn, but once you learn them, you can move around and edit quickly.  I am always up for adding the Vi interface to more and more.

I found a web browser that uses similar key combinations:

S3hh Blog: Vimprobable web browser

You can read more about Vimprobable on the SourceForge Project Homepage.

To install the browser, I added the repository with this command:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:serge-hallyn/vimprobable
sudo apt-get update

I used the Software Center to install it:

Installing Vimprobable

Or, you could just run:

sudo apt-get install vimprobable2

After it installs, you should find it in your menu:

Vimprobable in the Menu

Here’s what the browser looks like:


You can use J and K to move up and down in the page.  o will open a page in the current window.  / will search.  f will follow links.  y will copy the URL of your current page.  H goes back to the previous page.  You see the complete list on the Keybindings page.

The f command is pretty cool.  You can select your link with a number.  I pressed f on the project home page and I can go to the keybindings page by pressing 4.

Follow mode in Vimprobable

The open command will also search when you don’t enter a URL.  I typed “o digitaleagle”, and I got this:

Vimprobable Search

If you’re not ready to bite off a whole new browser, you can settle for a plugin.  S3hh also mentions a few more plugins to Chrome and Firefox:

I’ll spend some time messing with the vrome.  I’ll have to report back after some time using it.

If I had a request for a vim-like tool, I would ask for a compiz-fusion tool.  I want something where I can use vim-like keyboard shortcuts to navigate and control windows.  Maybe it could use the F12 key or scroll lock instead of Escape.

If you’re still not satisfied with these tools, here are some more that I ran across in my search.  (I didn’t have a chance to try all of them out):

One thought on “Software to Watch: Vi Everywhere!

  1. In 1995 I hacked fvwm to have an escape mode, but didn’t find that particularly useful in the end. What I think we want, and I keep wanting to sit down and code, is a wmii plugin for compiz.

    If you’re not a fan of tiling, then just the grid compiz plugin (which lets you send windows to a particular part of the screen with a keystroke) plus a hook for XWarpPointer (to move the cursor with the keyboard) might suffice.

    Well, ok – there is something else I want to add. I’m not happy with static number and layout of virtual workspaces or desktops. What I want is a slight modification of what wmii does. I have a few scripts to make it happen in unity, but scripting can’t do it to the extent I want.

    I want to start (on login) with a small predefined set of workspaces – one for irc, one for web, one for email. If I get a bug report over irc that i want to immediately handle, I want to hit one keystroke to create and move me to a new workspace, with the irc window in that plus its original workspace. That new workspace is unnamed (or randomly named) by default, but if I’m going to leave it around for awhile I can give it a meaningful name. (that stuff I’ve done with scripts). I also (like most people, I believe) think better geometrically, so I want to have the desktops be a grid or a set of piles/stacks, where I can move the workspaces among piles/stacks or along the grid. Then I can move left/right among related workspaces, where the relations can be made ad-hoc. I suppose that can be done somewhat with scripts, but it can’t, with scripts, be integrated with (something like) compiz’ expose, which I’d like to have.

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