Happy 30th birthday VIM
Happy Birthday, Vim!
Vim turned 30 this month (Nov. 2nd 2021 to be precise).
It was introduced to me by one of my professors during my IT studies in the early 2000s. In the very few seconds of trying it out, I had one of the biggest realization I had during my studies: that I could write plain text in something other than a Word document (despite not being able to figure out how to exit the application).
But more than this, it taught me how text should be, and remain, a first class citizen. So much of the work of a developer (let alone a writer!) is to type and manipulate text. Anything that interrupts that process, such as the use of a mouse, can become an annoyance or break the flow of writing. Since most developers are optimizers, many try to keep their hands on the keyboard as much as possible. It saves time, keep them in the flow and helps(?) to provide better software. Keeping text as a first class citizen also means one should not have to navigate through a GUI to find the right place to adjust styles or settings. Vim allows just that as well, by allowing to type and issue commands directly from the keyboard.
Vim is a tool. And like all tools, it'll be useful for some applications, and useless for others. But one thing is for sure: in technology, very few things stick around for long. Vim has been around for longer than a generation now! Why? Probably because while many things have changed in the past decades, the paradigm of how coders actually manipulate and input code isn’t all that different today than it was thirty years ago. No wonder it is still in the top 5 of developers favorite development environments.
- How to exit Vim
- Five tips for getting started with Vim
- Vim-adventure -- Learning VIM while playing a game
- Let Vim Do the Typing -- Great masterclass by George Brocklehurst showing various built-in completion mechanisms.