Software Development

Control Vim with voice commands

Struggling to grok Vim from the keyboard? Maybe voice commands are the solution.

Although this article is written in Vim, I am far from the most efficient user of the text editor in existence — between my memory and Google, I've managed to get by over the years.

So when I came across VimSpeak, I expected a world of schadenfreude to appear. But no, the Vim grammar actually translates very well to spoken language, as you can see below.

From the point of view of a beginner, I think users are far more likely to remember "change surrounding brackets to parens" than the "cs])" keystrokes that are needed. Or until they type that command out a dozen or so times to get it remembered properly.

In case you think it is just for silly toy examples, here's a VimGolf challenge to turn XML into JSON:

However, the really unexpected part of this whole VimSpeak project is that it is written in F#, by Ashley Feniello, a Microsoft-employed developer. That's the reason for the Visual Studio project files on GitHub, and the fact that it needs to use the .NET's speech recognition system.

Feniello wrote on the project's GitHub page that he has only tested it in Visual Studio, Sublime Text, and Vim, on Windows 8.

If nothing else comes of this project, it is yet another sober reminder that there is always more Vim to grok.

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Some would say that it is a long way from software engineering to journalism, others would correctly argue that it is a mere 10 metres according to the floor plan.During his first five years with CBS Interactive, Chris started his journalistic advent...

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