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Name Your Favorite Bloat-Free Software

Zathrus Re:Vi (1296 comments)

Some of these wonky new vi's with their fancy colouring and extra modes which coincide with legacy vi commands are evil.


Er, and which ones are those?

I've used vi, nvi, vile, and vim. By far, vim is the most popular (and powerful) of those. And it does not have any modes or commands that coincide with standard vi in compatible mode; there are a few minor differences in non-compatible mode, but nothing that's likely to trip up even seasoned vi-ers (and yes, I used vi for nearly a decade before any of the others, and still use vi from time to time when I get on a box w/o vim).

If you're using vim and don't like color, disable it. In fact, it's disabled by default in compatible mode (which vim defaults to unless you have a .vimrc). If you find the colors "hard to read" then it's because you aren't using a real xterm and vim cannot properly detect your background -- do a :set bg=light or :set bg=dark for a light/dark background and the colors will become much better. Or use one of a few hundred different colorschemes that are available (for anything from 8/16 color standard consoles to 256 color enabled xterms; if you have no color, just :syntax off and go on your way).

vim is a vast improvement over vi -- and not for the coloring, but rather for the buffer management, the filetype capabilities (smarter indenting is the tip of the iceberg), text objects (daB to delete an entire block delimited by {['s is one example; objects exists for words/WORDS, sentences, paragraphs, tags, etc), and macros. There's much, much more, of course, but those are the big ones in my book. I personally don't care much about windows and the vim7 tabs are misnamed and misunderstood, but some love them. I have a strong vi background, and I think the things I mentioned are more relevant to others with a similar background than those other items are.

more than 7 years ago

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