When writing LaTeX documents I usually just edit the plain text in vim, and in another xterm I type
make && xpdf foo.pdf to regenerate the PDF output and view it in xpdf. This is tedious and slow if you do it often. A much better way I found out about now, is to use latexmk.
apt-get install latexmk
This tool autogenerates a PDF or PostScript file out of your *.tex file(s), so it would make my Makefile obsolete. But the much better thing is that it has a preview mode:
latexmk -pvc -pdfps foo.tex
This generates a PDF out of foo.tex (and its dependencies, if any), and refreshes the PDF every time the foo.tex file gets updated (i.e., every time I type
:w in vim). So I can now leave the xpdf instance open all the time, and it'll be refreshed automatically to show the latest version of my document.
Caveat: in xpdf you have to press (for example) "next page" and then "previous page" (SPACE, BACKSPACE) to refresh the screen. Leaving out the "-pdfps" makes the regeneration process a bit faster and uses xdvi for previewing as dvi (instead of PDF) which does not require the above SPACE+BACKSPACE hack. But I like xpdf better than xdvi, so I'll stick with it.
Yes, that's that awesome text-mode editor your geeky friends keep telling you about, the one that many people use since many years and still haven't explored more than 20% of its features . I'm well aware that if you're a vim user you probably have already heard about it, but I'm blogging the news here one more time, just in case ;-)
I think the most interesting new features for me will be tabs, omni-completion, and "browsing remote directories, zip and tar archives" from within vim (no need to fire up mc anymore). A more complete list of new features is available in the release announcement.
 Emacs users are allowed to start flaming now...
 Now, this may sound like I'm talking about Emacs here, but I'm actually not ;-)
I bet the next beta-service Google announces will be "Google Vim" ;-) Or maybe not...
I'm way too tired to write something longer than a few lines right now, but before I go to bed, here's a quote by Sean McGrath which Made My Day™:
Emacs is like a laser guided missile. It only has to be slight mis-configured to ruin your whole day.
Yes, I use vim. Yes, I always put on my asbestos underwear at night.
(via the law of averages)