Oh, yeah, vim-ledger

Published: Tue 07 March 2023
Updated: Thu 16 March 2023
By steve

In Markets.


Vim-ledger plugin for vim (‘vi improved’) is a terrific bit of software. Some guy has given this plugin to the world, to help people like me get more out of plaintext accounting tools like hledger.

I urge you to take a look at plaintext accounting, if you have any interest in bookkeeping 1, but that’s not really why I’m writing this. I want to draw your attention to the fact that there is some excellent software written by people who love creating things out of code. Creativity doesn’t only apply to graphic art and literature. A great piece of software is a work of huge creativity, and one that probably gives the author as much satisfaction. I have never created such a masterpiece, but the modest programs I’ve written have nevertheless given me a sense of achievement.

And yes, I know, nobody is actually interested in bookkeeping. It’s not like bee keeping, or gardening. It’s more like vacuum cleaning, or rodding drains, but it’s something that is very useful to know how to do on occasions. If you do have to do it, it’s rewarding to use a tool which is well-designed and well-suited to the job. Plaintext accounting is a bit like organic farming for bookkeepers. It’s keeping records in a simple, basic, transparent way, without the equivalent of synthetic fertilizers (i.e. proprietary software). If you want to know more, start here. It probably appeals more to those with a programming background, because a knowledge of the text file utilities that programmers find so useful (like grep, awk, sed, find, vi, git, diff, make) help in keeping records. If you are interested in learning to code, it would not be a waste of time learning to use these tools, because they sure make coding easier too, when you start to do that seriously.

There is an awful lot of high quality ‘FOSS’ software out there. I just installed OCRmyPDF. FOSS is ‘free open-source software’.

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