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Learning the vi and Vim Editors, 7th Edition by Linda Lamb, Elbert Hannah, Arnold Robbins

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Overview

Author and History[49]

Bram started work on Vim after buying an Amiga computer. As a Unix user he’d been using the vi-like editor called stevie, one he considered far from perfect. Fortunately, it came with the source code, and he began by making the editor more compatible with vi and fixing bugs. After a while the program became quite usable, and Vim version 1.14 was published on Fred Fish disk 591 (a collection of free software for the Amiga).

Other people began to use the program, liked it, and started helping with its development. A port to Unix was followed by ports to MS-DOS and other systems, and subsequently Vim became one of the most widely available vi clones. More features were added gradually: multilevel undo, multiwindowing, etc. Some features were unique to Vim, but many were inspired by other vi clones. The goal has always been to provide the best features to the user.

Today Vim is one of the most full-featured of the vi-style editors anywhere. The online help is extensive.

One of the more obscure features of Vim is its support for typing from right to left, which is useful for languages such as Hebrew and Farsi and illustrates Vim’s versatility. Being a rock-stable editor on which professional software developers can rely is another of Vim’s design goals. Vim crashes are rare, and when they happen you can recover your changes.

Development on Vim continues. The group of people helping to add features and port Vim to more platforms is growing, and the quality of ...

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