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On searching for a way of jumping between whitespaces with GNU Readline library, I discovered the vi-fWord and vi-bWord readline-functions in this question.

But strangely, I cannot find any trace of them in the Readline Manuals this and this. Where are a list of vi-* functions documented or do I have to RTFS?

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You can get a list of the vi-related Readline function names by running this in bash:

bind -P | grep -w vi

Unfortunately, the documentation for these functions is lacking. The official documentation for the Readline library focuses more on Emacs mode and provides minimal information on how to use Vi-mode. In the short section, Readline vi Mode, it states that

The Readline vi mode behaves as specified in the POSIX standard.

The POSIX standard for the shell is specified in Command Line Editing (vi-mode). For a standards document, its description of how the shell should behave is quite readable, and you can see how some of the specified functionality corresponds with the Readline functions as listed by bind -P.

However, I’ve recently discovered that its implementation of POSIX vi-mode is not complete.

  • 1
    Thanks for pointing out posix standard where i can find description of vi mode. – Naitree Jul 3 '16 at 2:05

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