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Last updated May 30, 2024

Vim is a text-based editor that is running in the terminal.

Unlike other editors, Vim’s power is its Vim Language (and Motions). Although this can be added as an extension in other editors, vim has much more to offer.

Most people miss “Vim Is More than Just an Editor.” The Vim Language, its motions, and its modes will make you a better programmer and writer. If you invested in the vim language early on, you can use it on each editor, browser, and other apps. This has nothing to do with the editor yet – these are universal and available. For example, there’s VSVim for VSCode, IdeaVim for the JetBrains products, Vintage Mode for Sublime, and so on. But there are also Browser extensions like Vimium or Firenvim, and Gmail even adopted some of Vim’s shortcuts for navigation (j, k for moving, g for jumping).

Everyone who types on a computer eight hours a day should learn the Vim language. Yes it’s hard initially, but that’s the case with everything new and different. But getting better every day and having more fun coding or writing should be motivation enough. Also, imagine, if you work over a decade, how many times you had to learn a new editor (notepad++, atom, eclipse, …) some of which do not exist anymore. If you once learned the vim language, you are getting stronger. There is a reason the editor has existed since the eclipse of programming.

The Vim grammar is exceptional, as spoken language has verbs, subjects, and objects, as does the Vim language. The grammar has different verbs, to begin with. Copying (or yanking) in Vim with y, deleting with d, pasting with p, changing with c, and so on.

You can also see in the comments here people fight over Vim and VSCode, where the natural beauty is the language behind Vim. If you do not want to configure and customize your own, use VSCode and add the Vim extension. But if you’re going to get better at your job, you should try the Vim language.

Once mastered, you edit text at the speed of thought. Sounds cheeky, but it’s true for me. Instead of thinking, “I want to edit that word,” my fingers jump to it and change it with a few keystrokes.

I wrote more on Why Vim Is More than Just an Editor – Vim Language, Motions, and Modes Explained, in case you are interested.

# History

VIM, The Most HATED Text Editor of All Time - YouTube how it was developed from ed/em/en, stevie and vi. Eventually Bram Moolenaar creating vim.

Also read more on Pikuma: Understanding the Origins and the Evolution of Vi & Vim.

And from Wikipedia:

Vim’s forerunner, Stevie (ST Editor for VI Enthusiasts), was created by Tim Thompson for the Atari ST in 1987 and further developed by Tony Andrews and G.R. (Fred) Walter. It was one of the first popularized clones of Vi, and did not use Vi’s source code. The source code for Vi used the Ed text editor developed under AT&T, and therefore Vi could only be used by those with an AT&T source license. Basing Vim on the source code for Stevie meant the program could be distributed without requiring the AT&T source license.

Basing his work on Stevie, Bram Moolenaar began working on Vim for the Amiga computer in 1988, with the first public release (Vim v1.14) in 1991.

At the time of its first release, the name “Vim” was an acronym for “Vi IMitation”, but this changed to “‘Vi IMproved” late in 1993.

# Markdown and vim

Vim motions and Markdown’s simplicity have significantly enhanced my data engineering and, most importantly, my writing workflow, bringing efficiency and clarity to my data engineering and writing tasks.

I believe many professionals can relate to the journey of finding the right tools to streamline their workflow. A full blog post about that on My Vim-Verse: The Backbone of My Workflow.

# Learning vim: Getting Started

The best youtube videos are as linked and mentioned a couple of times above, ThePrimagen starting with Vim As Your Editor or Why even bother with Vim or Neovim in 2022.

I started with Ben Awads’s vim tutorial back then. An excellent Lecture: Editors (vim) (2020). Mastering the Vim Language. I also collect a small playlist on YouTube with vim content. A big inspiration also dev workflow using tmux and vim from Takuya.

# People using Vim

References: Neovim, vim (Thoughts on)
Created 2023-02-21