Yes, Vim Turned Twenty but Vi Turned Thirty-five Too!

Recently, all Vim lovers wished it on its twentieth year. Twenty years is a long time, but it is not long enough. Let us talk about something bigger. Vi, the predecessor to Vim, grew even older with this. Very few people use vi anymore, and using it will be CUI overkill. However, it is worth a mention. Vim is ‘Vi improved’. Bram Moolenaar did a great job by ‘improving’ Vi, but the credit goes to Bill Joy, for creating this wonderful piece of software.

Vim  is a highly configurable text editor built to enable efficient text editing. It is an improved version of the vi editor distributed with most UNIX systems.

Vim added automated scripts, plugins and other code editing features that vi lacked. Vim is the standard form of vi today, but in essence, it still is the Vi editor. While the Vi editor was influenced by the ADM-3A systems popular around the time of its birth, vim adapted to the Amiga systems. Amiga saw a slew in emerging Vi clones, and Bram Moolenaar did a great job creating vim. After a few years, vim saw its first release in November of 1991.

However, Vim turning twenty is as much of an achievement for vim as it is for its parent project Vi, which turned nearly thirty-five, implicitly! Thus, it is definitely worth a mention. The paradigm shift that vi brought into the task of text-editing, needs to be given due credit and it is best that we reflect back all the way to where things started changing, rather than where the change started getting improvements.

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Chinmoy Kanjilal

Chinmoy Kanjilal is a FOSS enthusiast and evangelist. He is passionate about Android. Security exploits turn him on and he loves to tinker with computer networks. You can connect with him on Twitter @ckandroid.