Re: [dev] [RFC] Design of a vim like text editor

From: Marc Weber <>
Date: Wed, 24 Sep 2014 08:50:35 +0000

Excerpts from ale rimoldi's message of Tue Sep 23 18:03:45 +0000 2014:
> on top of that, while i never had a look at the vim source code, i've
> read scaring tales about it.
Some cases where the vim source code appears very hacky to me:

Rewriting an editor? Have a a look at existing solutions
- neovim
- jedit (java editor, no vi keybindings, but you could look at its
  history to understand the effort it takes to write an editor)
- ...

Idea/Eclipse/Netbeans all offer Vi Keybindings (maybe extra plugin)

Just to get an idea about how much work it is (just have a look at the

If to rewrite, using what language? C++? Sucks - gtk&gimp/suckless/ more
teams (jackaudio) cannot decide which language to use. They end up with:
"Hey, we have two versions now: one written in C having features A, and
one in C++ having B".
That's why I concluded that I had to write a new language first. Where
to start? Have a look at, Disciple (strict Haskell
dialect, memory regions and such), or rust (Mozilla is writing a multi
core web engine using that) ?

That's why I didn't start a project such as neovim yet.

Also keep in mind that even Emacs has a Vim emulation

There is also "yi" written in Haskell which offers Vim and Emacs like
keybinding flavours.

And there is a lot more around (editors written ruby on github and
whatnot). What makes Vim still productive, even though it has many
flaws? Its community. An editor without a community is worthless.

> and while testing vis, i started fearing that each of the many heavy
> users out there uses a different small subset of all the vim goodness:
> this could explain, why it's so bloated. let's hope that it's not
> true.
It totally is. Its vim, its the mailinglist, its the "plugin X which
provides feature Y" - I tried switching to Emacs once, but gave up after
2 weeks. Too much code to rewrite.

Thus before rewriting from scratch find out what you really want and
where to start - and make sure you have either funding or enough "money"
for living first .. ^^

That's my view.
Marc Weber
Received on Wed Sep 24 2014 - 10:50:35 CEST

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