Open Source Computing and GIS in the UK

Travels in a digital world

Octopress Continued

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Just a quick post to rave about something new I’ve just discovered in my continuing adventures in Octopress and other geeky environs: a live previewer for markdown text that works as a plugin in Vim!

I didn’t really want to jump on the Vim bandwagon at first because it’s a bit hipster-cool at the moment but I confess to being sold on Vimroom– a plugin that offers you a distraction-free writing environment similar to Writeroom for Macs, and then this new plugin Vim-Instant-Markdown for blog editing.

Installing the plugin requires some additional software installs, some of which are detailed on the github page and some of which are not (node.js, npm). I found some good instructions on installing these on Ubuntu 12.04 here, though I was able to install node.js from the repositories rather than compiling from source.

After that, it’s a question of opening a markdown file (in my case a generated Octopress blog post or page) in vim (I find it works best if I start from my home directory- other’s mileage may vary and I might figure out what I’m doing eventually), then a browser page automatically opens, pointing at http://localhost:8090, and you can see what your file looks like as you type. Awesome!

I should also point out, to other Vim beginners like myself that the excellent Vim Adventures game now has 4 levels available too!