Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 9th Mar 2012 19:11 UTC
General Development "I was reading about vim the other day and found out why it used hjkl keys as arrow keys. When Bill Joy created the vi text editor he used the ADM-3A terminal, which had the arrows on hjkl keys, so naturally he reused the same keys." As interesting as that is, John Graham-Cumming goes even further back in history. "The reason that keyboard had those arrows keys on it was because those keys correspond to CTRL-H, J, K, L and the CTRL key back then worked by killing bit 6 (and bit 5) of the characters being typed." Truly fascinating stuff, even though it's from way before my time (I'm from 1984).
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RE: I love vim
by WorknMan on Sat 10th Mar 2012 02:09 UTC in reply to "I love vim"
WorknMan
Member since:
2005-11-13

Vim is absolutely the best text editor out there! I use it always, for everything and anything ;)


Is it really? I've heard this said before, but I've never tried it myself... always seemed to be a bit of a pain in the ass to use.

Would be curious to see some sort of feature matrix comparing it with the best open source and commercial text editors out there.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: I love vim
by jptros on Sat 10th Mar 2012 02:44 in reply to "RE: I love vim"
jptros Member since:
2005-08-26

It's one of those things that's an acquired taste I reckon. I like it personally, I also like plenty of text editors that are more obvious when it comes to exposing functionality. Never the less, vim is a powerful text editor and when it comes to a cli editor being used over a remote shell it's hard to beat. After using it for a while it almost becomes second nature, you do things without even thinking anything more than "I want to do this..." and it happens. Like a motor skill almost.

Reply Parent Score: 5

RE[3]: I love vim
by Lennie on Sat 10th Mar 2012 11:01 in reply to "RE[2]: I love vim"
Lennie Member since:
2007-09-22

Yes "an acquired taste" explains it perfectly.

I'm not a fan of vim, vim just seems to large for me. ;-)

I use currently use vim-tiny which on Debian and Ubuntu seems to be the 'default' vi-version right now.

My guess is because the old default which I used before that, nvi, doesn't support Unicode.

I do system administration and any time a server is really busy I just want a small editor start will actually start up in a reasonable amount of time, instead of vim ( which feels to much like emacs in size ;-) )

So in a roundabout way I want to say I'm a vim user too and it is my preferred editor on the commandline and the commandline is what is I prefer over the GUI.

Edited 2012-03-10 11:06 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[3]: I love vim
by zima on Fri 16th Mar 2012 23:58 in reply to "RE[2]: I love vim"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

It's one of those things that's an acquired taste I reckon. [...] After using it for a while it almost becomes second nature, you do things without even thinking anything more than "I want to do this..." and it happens. Like a motor skill almost.

And/or it's largely an illusion: http://plan9.bell-labs.com/wiki/plan9/Mouse_vs._keyboard/index.html ...your mind is occupied more by such editors, hence yeah, "and it happens" because there was not a lot of free cognitive processing left to notice much else.

Moreover, it's not only how we feel keyboarding around to be faster - remember what is responsible for that feeling: the very same organ which expedited a lot of effort into it (& go through a list of cognitive biases)

Edited 2012-03-17 00:11 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: I love vim
by orestes on Sat 10th Mar 2012 04:24 in reply to "RE: I love vim"
orestes Member since:
2005-07-06

It's not really about features, although vim has accrued many since it's forefather vi came to life as a horribly bloated ed. It's about efficiency of operation that results from the old school UNIX terseness. Once you get past the initial pain and learn to properly operate it you really start to appreciate the design.

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE[3]: I love vim
by zima on Fri 16th Mar 2012 23:59 in reply to "RE[2]: I love vim"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

Once you get past the initial pain and learn to properly operate it you really start to appreciate the design.

That's also one of our cognitive biases, we value things we invested a lot of time in (even no matter if they make sense and so on; or at least, here, influenced by http://www.osnews.com/permalink?510905 )

Edited 2012-03-17 00:05 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: I love vim
by wigry on Sat 10th Mar 2012 13:39 in reply to "RE: I love vim"
wigry Member since:
2008-10-09

I believe that nowadays you can easily find an editor that matches vim in feature wise but the elegance of vim is that it works perfectly over 9600 baud modem ;) The bandwith of sending over couple of one-char commands does not kill the modem.

You want to move 10 rows from line 25 to line 50?

25G
10dd
40G
p
:wq

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[3]: I love vim
by raboof on Sun 11th Mar 2012 15:42 in reply to "RE[2]: I love vim"
raboof Member since:
2005-07-24

the elegance of vim is that it works perfectly over 9600 baud modem ;) The bandwith of sending over couple of one-char commands does not kill the modem.

'telnet/ssh into the server and edit with vim' used to be a good idea when connections had low bandwidth but were otherwise fairly reliable.

Nowadays, it seems to me bandwidth is not much of an issue anymore, and the problem is unpredictable latencies, especially on mobile/wireless networks. The model of 'fetch the complete document, edit it locally, and sync it back' seems to fit that context much better.

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE[2]: I love vim
by gilboa on Sat 10th Mar 2012 14:33 in reply to "RE: I love vim"
gilboa Member since:
2005-07-06

Would be curious to see some sort of feature matrix comparing it with the best open source and commercial text editors out there.


Let me tell me "how I started using vim" (including this post via ViewSourceWith firefox extension).
Back in, 2001, I started playing around with Windows XP beta that I got from my MSDN account.
Back at the time, I was a low-level Win32 programmer that used MSDev 2K for-more-or-less everything.
Long story short, didn't like XP, decided I needed a switch and given that fact that I always had some type of Linux running on some old hardware, I decided to give it a shot.
Started looking for editors, kate, gedit, kdevelop, anjuta, tried them all and at the time (again, 11 years ago) non of them came even close to matching MSDev.
A friend, offered me to try vim.
At first, I hated it.
Then, I got used to it.
Now, well, now-days, when I'm forced to use Windows, the first thing that I install is Firefox (w/ the Pentadactyl vim interface and ViewSourceWith) and gvim.
The irony is that these days I can't stand using MSDev anymore, compared to gvim, it's SLOW, everything requires far too many mouse clicks and menus and the lack of "command mode" drives me crazy (I know that there are vim-for-VS plugins).
In vim, my mouse is rarely used; I can use regular expression more-or-less everywhere and everything; cscope is by an order of magnitude faster than anything eclipse and VS is using for tag matching (keep in mind that my cscope DB includes /usr/include, the full kernel source and both MinGW Win32 and Win64, all-in-all around 600MB of symbols).

Never the less, as others pointed out, it's really a matter of personal preference.

- Gilboa

Edited 2012-03-10 14:36 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[3]: I love vim
by Lennie on Sat 10th Mar 2012 16:31 in reply to "RE[2]: I love vim"
Lennie Member since:
2007-09-22

I can't stand IDE's. To slow, to much memory. Usually leads to terrible code with some of the tooling. No idea why people use them.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[2]: I love vim
by Rugxulo on Sat 10th Mar 2012 18:16 in reply to "RE: I love vim"
Rugxulo Member since:
2007-10-09

"Vim is absolutely the best text editor out there! I use it always, for everything and anything ;)


Is it really? I've heard this said before, but I've never tried it myself... always seemed to be a bit of a pain in the ass to use.

Would be curious to see some sort of feature matrix comparing it with the best open source and commercial text editors out there.
"

VIM is vi on steroids, so yeah, it does more than "classic" vi. But people like classic vi more for the brevity of keys, which makes it easier to touchtype. The commands interact very well, so finding / replacing / deleting / reformatting is fairly easy, moreso than other common text editors. But the brevity means you have to remember a lot of stuff. However, VIM mitigates most of that with its :help and menus, etc. (VILE is also a good one.)

P.S. Quick summary: http://www.longwood.edu/staff/pedenjh/basic_vi.html

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: I love vim
by weland on Sat 10th Mar 2012 22:50 in reply to "RE: I love vim"
weland Member since:
2012-02-19

Don't trust him, Emacs is the best editor.

Reply Parent Score: 1