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Where VIM came from


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securitybreach
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://twobithistory.org/2018/08/05/where-vim-came-from.html

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raymac46

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
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raymac46

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.

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sunrat

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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raymac46

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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abarbarian

Vimium Helps You To Browse The Web With Vim Keybindings

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Who needs Mouse? We can navigate the Internet just using your Keyboard, without touching the mouse or touchpad. Yes, there is a Google Chrome extension called Vimium which helps you to browse the web with Vim Keybindings. Vimium, also known as the Hacker’s Browser, provides a bunch of keyboard shortcuts for navigation and control of the web in the spirit of the Vim editor. Good thing is Vimium will not change or modify the browser’s interface in any way. It simply allows a user to navigate web pages, tabs and links using vim-like keyboard commands. If you are familiar with the Vim keybindings already, you can efficiently browse the Web as the way you use Vim editor. Vimium is a free, open source project and its code is freely available in GitHub.

 

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securitybreach

Yeah, I used to use Vimperator:

 

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Vimperator was a discontinued Firefox extension forked from the original Firefox extension version of Conkeror and designed to provide a more efficient user interface for keyboard-fluent users. The design is heavily inspired by the Vim text editor, and the authors try to maintain consistency with it wherever possible.

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vimperator

 

While it was neat, it takes so much longer to use on today's internet than to simply use the mouse. I only use my mouse for the browser or if I am playing a game.

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abarbarian

Vim Tips – Read And Write Remote Files With Vim On Linux

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A while ago, we discussed how to edit remote files with Vim editor on Linux. Using that method, we edited files stored on a remote system over SSH without actually having to log-in to the remote system. Today we will be discussing a similar Vim tip – read and write remote files with Vim. Starting from Vim 7.x version, the netrw.vim plugin is installed as a standard plugin by default. This plugin allows the users to read, edit, write and browse remote files via ftp, rcp, scp or http.

 

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abarbarian

Top five Vim plugins for sysadmins

The one sthat caught my eye were,

 

 

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4. Vim Gitgutter

The plugin Vim Gitgutter is useful for those using Git as a version control system. It shows the output of Git diff as symbols in the "gutter"—the sign column where Vim presents additional information, such as line numbers. For example, consider this Ansible task file as the current committed version in Git:

 

 

 

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5. Vim Fugitive

Vim Fugitive is another great plugin for those trying to incorporate Git into the Vim workflow. This plugin is a Git wrapper that allows you to execute Git commands directly from Vim's interface. This plugin has many features, so make sure to check the Github page for additional information.


 

 

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