Great response to 'A Byte of Vim'

It has been three days since I released my Vim book. I’m very happy with the response.

For starters, there has been 5003 PDF downloads, 14,715 unique visitors and 35,129 page views. That’s in just three days!

Second, I’m glad to see the kind of responses that I was hoping for:

[@raseel]( says “Great Book !! Although I use vim everyday as an editor as well as an ide, the book makes u realise how much more it can do.”
[@techpickles]( says “have been thumbing through ‘byte of vim’. learning a ton even having used vim for years.”

I’m happy to see people discovering that Vim can do more, way more than people know about. There is a lot of power underneath the hood and it is a tragedy that it goes unnoticed even by long-time Vim users. Years ago, I started to wonder if I could change that situation and that’s when I started writing the book.

Regarding the responses via Twitter, it was interesting to see how fast the information was spreading. I could see retweets (linking to the book) being passed on from someone in Switzerland to someone in Ireland to someone in USA and so on, in quick succession.

Most of the traffic came from Reddit and Hacker News, so many thanks to those readers who submitted the news to these discussion sites. Seeing ‘A Byte of Vim’ as the top link on Hacker News for more than a day put me on a geek high.

Most of the feedback was from the mailing list where people were really happy to see the news. I’ve added some of these feedback to the What Readers Say section of the book’s front page.

There has been a lot of contributions to the wiki in terms of “bug fixes” i.e. typo corrections, grammar corrections and procedure corrections. It feels like a ton of editors are holding a magnifying glass to the book :)

One of the more exciting mails I received was from Yeh, Shih-You who wanted to start a Chinese translation! He said:

My name’s Yeh, Shih-You, a programmer and a Linux-lover from Taiwan. Having been using Vim for about 3 years, I found out that getting the most out of Vim suddenly becomes a necessity, in order to improve productivity as well as efficiency. Your book came out at the perfect time.
I’m interested in contributing translations in Traditional Chinese. Thanks for all the effort you’ve put into this book.

Now that is awesome.

On a side note, it’s amazing to note that even for my previous book, the number of mails from Chinese readers have increased dramatically in the past couple of years. So, in a way, I shouldn’t have been surprised that the Chinese translation was the first one to be started for the new book as well. The Chinese guys are already on the forefront of hardware manufacturing, but now seeing firsthand that they are so hungry to learn and devouring information online, it is hard not to imagine them at the forefront of software in a few years as well.

To sum it up, I’m happy with the response, although I would’ve been happier if a good number of print copies were sold, as well as more community contributions in terms of content such as new topics and chapters.

Many people are surprised and curious on why I choose to release my book under a Creative Commons license, I shall explain that in a different post later.

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Jamie Larson