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Where VIM came from


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#1 OFFLINE   securitybreach

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Posted 06 August 2018 - 05:59 AM

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I recently  stumbled across a file format known as Intel HEX. As far as I can gather, Intel HEX files (which use the .hex extension) are meant to make binary images less opaque by encoding them as lines of hexadecimal digits. Apparently they are used by people who program microcontrollers or need to burn data into ROM. In any case, when I opened up a HEX file in Vim for the first time, I discovered something shocking. Here was this file format that, at least to me, was deeply esoteric, but Vim already knew all about it. Each line of a HEX file is a record divided into different fields—Vim had gone ahead and colored each of the fields a different color. set ft? I asked, in awe. filetype=hex, Vim answered, triumphant.
Vim is everywhere. It is used by so many people that something like HEX file support shouldn’t be a surprise. Vim comes pre-installed on Mac OS and has a large constituency in the Linux world. It is familiar even to people that hate it, because enough popular command line tools will throw users into Vim by default that the uninitiated getting trapped in Vim has become a meme. There are major websites, including Facebook, that will scroll down when you press the j key and up when you press the k key—the unlikely high-water mark of Vim’s spread through digital culture.

And yet Vim is also a mystery. Unlike React, for example, which everyone knows is developed and maintained by Facebook, Vim has no obvious sponsor. Despite its ubiquity and importance, there doesn’t seem to be any kind of committee or organization that makes decisions about Vim. You could spend several minutes poking around the Vim website without getting a better idea of who created Vim or why. If you launch Vim without giving it a file argument, then you will see Vim’s startup message, which says that Vim is developed by “Bram Moolenaar et al.” But that doesn’t tell you much. Who is Bram Moolenaar and who are his shadowy confederates?

Perhaps more importantly, while we’re asking questions, why does exiting Vim involve typing :wq? Sure, it’s a “write” operation followed by a “quit” operation, but that is not a particularly intuitive convention. Who decided that copying text should instead be called “yanking”? Why is :%s/foo/bar/gc short for “find and replace”? Vim’s idiosyncrasies seem too arbitrary to have been made up, but then where did they come from?

The answer, as is so often the case, begins with that ancient crucible of computing, Bell Labs. In some sense, Vim is only the latest iteration of a piece of software—call it the “wq text editor”—that has been continuously developed and improved since the dawn of the Unix epoch......

https://twobithistor...-came-from.html
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#2 OFFLINE   abarbarian

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Posted 06 August 2018 - 06:28 AM

Vim was produced at Port Sunlight

first appeared on the market in 1904, an offshoot of Monkey Brand

Vim is currently owned by Spotless Group

https://en.wikipedia...eaning_product)

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#3 OFFLINE   raymac46

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Posted 06 August 2018 - 08:13 AM

I suppose that folks today tapping away on a virtual smartphone keyboard could scarcely imagine typing BASIC programs on paper tape and running them through a teletype terminal on a mainframe - but we did it in the 1970s. It was a lot better than punch cards.
Interesting how the text editors developed based on the hardware available at the time.

Edited by raymac46, 06 August 2018 - 08:13 AM.

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#4 OFFLINE   raymac46

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Posted 06 August 2018 - 08:26 AM

 abarbarian, on 06 August 2018 - 06:28 AM, said:

Vim was produced at Port Sunlight

first appeared on the market in 1904, an offshoot of Monkey Brand

Vim is currently owned by Spotless Group

https://en.wikipedia...eaning_product)

:whistling:

http://www.vim.ca/home/about
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#5 OFFLINE   V.T. Eric Layton

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Posted 06 August 2018 - 10:49 AM

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#6 OFFLINE   ebrke

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Posted 06 August 2018 - 03:33 PM

 raymac46, on 06 August 2018 - 08:13 AM, said:

It was a lot better than punch cards.
Sorry, I'd take punch cards over paper tape any day.
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#7 OFFLINE   raymac46

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Posted 06 August 2018 - 06:00 PM

View Postebrke, on 06 August 2018 - 03:33 PM, said:

View Postraymac46, on 06 August 2018 - 08:13 AM, said:

It was a lot better than punch cards.
Sorry, I'd take punch cards over paper tape any day.
Not me. It was far easier to use a TTY than to punch cards on an unreliable card punch, stand in line to have your deck read by a ginchy card reader (validity check, anyone?) Then rinse and repeat.

Edited by raymac46, 07 August 2018 - 08:18 AM.

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#8 OFFLINE   sunrat

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Posted 06 August 2018 - 09:46 PM

Back in the 70s I used to walk all the latest data down to the data entry room and they would punch it in. ;)
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#9 OFFLINE   V.T. Eric Layton

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Posted 06 August 2018 - 09:53 PM

Ah... the '70s! What a time. I have sketchy memories of that era. ;)

#10 OFFLINE   raymac46

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Posted 07 August 2018 - 08:22 AM

In the 70s I was the experimenter, programmer, data entry clerk and analyst. We had a lean organization - at least my department did.
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#11 OFFLINE   V.T. Eric Layton

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Posted 07 August 2018 - 09:35 AM

Egads! Statistics? I'd rather have a root canal done. ;)

#12 OFFLINE   raymac46

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Posted 07 August 2018 - 12:24 PM

Statistics was always a big part of my job. I have a good friend who was a professor of statistics at McGill in Montreal. He specialized in non-parametric statistics applied to psychology, and later to climate data. He always said my type of parametric stats was dull and simple and boring - a special case that didn't reflect 90% of reality. Probably he was right but most machines in a factory obey the simpler rules - guess I was lucky.
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#13 OFFLINE   crp

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Posted 19 August 2018 - 12:33 PM

View Postraymac46, on 06 August 2018 - 08:26 AM, said:

View Postabarbarian, on 06 August 2018 - 06:28 AM, said:

Vim was produced at Port Sunlight

first appeared on the market in 1904, an offshoot of Monkey Brand

Vim is currently owned by Spotless Group

https://en.wikipedia...eaning_product)

:whistling:

http://www.vim.ca/home/about
highly doubt the accuracy of this post.

vim isn't just vi made pretty?
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#14 OFFLINE   securitybreach

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Posted 19 August 2018 - 01:56 PM

View Postcrp, on 19 August 2018 - 12:33 PM, said:

vim isn't just vi made pretty?

Nope, it is much more than that https://askubuntu.co...ween-vi-and-vim
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