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So right now I've got ctrl-E mapped to "edit" the current line in my prompt via neovim. So if I've got a line like

$ cp -r path/with/typo a/really/really/really/long/path/name

then I can press ^e, edit out the typo, exit neovim, and run the fixed command.

This is great, except (and I'll admit this is a nitpick) I don't really like that neovim takes up the whole screen. Sometimes the edit I'll want to make is based off of the output of a previous command, in which case it's a bit annoying that the full-screen neovim obscures this information.

For example, if I had the terminal history looking like:

$ cat requirements.txt
absl-py==1.2.0
affine==2.4.0
aiohttp==3.8.4
aiosignal==1.3.1
alembic==1.10.3
anyio==3.6.1
apply-defaults==0.1.6
appnope==0.1.3
argon2-cffi==21.3.0
argon2-cffi-bindings==21.2.0
[...]
$ cat .venv/lib/python3.10/site-packages/absl/__init__.py

But then I realised that instead of cat-ing the absl library, I wanted to cat a different library that was in the output of the first command cat requirements.txt . Maybe the spelling of that command is weird. Right now I could edit the second command with a full-screen neovim window but I wouldn't be able to see the output of my previous command to check the spelling.

To clarify some things I'm not looking for:

  • I'm not interested in a solution that somehow copies the history into the vim buffer.
  • I'm not interested in a solution that doesn't let me see the output of the previous commands.
  • I'm not interested in a solution that's offering some pseudo vim-mode for editing the current command with "vim-style" commands without actually opening vim.

Ideally the result should look like I've got a "mini-vim" (or neovim) instance that only takes up the lower 5 or so lines of the terminal, like:

-shell- $ cat requirements.txt
        absl-py==1.4.0
        alembic==1.10.3
        [...]
        $ cat .venv/lib/python3.10/site-packages/absl/__init__.py__init__.py
--vim-- 1   cat .venv/lib/python3.10/site-packages/**edits made here***/__init__.py
        ~
        ~
        /private/tmp/zshbASRss                                    1,55           All
        :wq
-shell- $ cat .venv/lib/python3.10/site-packages/**edits made here***/__init__.py

(Where -shell- and --vim-- are just used to indicate which parts are shell and which parts are vim)

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  • One way would be to set EDITOR to a custom script that opens vim in a tmux horizontal pane and waits for it to finish.
    – balki
    Oct 26, 2023 at 15:54
  • Hmm that's an option, although I'm often using zoomed/multi-pane tmux setups so I don't really look forward to figuring out how to make that work nicely. But good idea, definitely an option.
    – beyarkay
    Oct 28, 2023 at 16:12

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