I would appreciate it if someone can let a newbie know what the differences are between
vim. I've heard Vim is a successor to
vi but whenever I try to open
vi in Ubuntu it opens
Functionally, vim is almost a proper superset of vi. Therefore, everything that is in vi is available in vim.
Vim adds onto those features. Here are a some of the extended vim features:
- Vim has been ported to a much wider range of OS's than vi.
- Vim includes support (syntax highlighting, code folding, etc) for several popular programming languages (C/C++, Python, Perl, shell, etc).
- Vim integrates with cscope.
- Vim can be used to edit files using network protocols like SSH and HTTP.
- Vim includes multilevel undo/redo.
- Vim allows the screen to be split for editing multiple files.
- Vim can edit files inside a compressed archive (gzip, zip, tar, etc).
- Vim includes a built in diff for comparing files (vimdiff).
- Vim includes support for plugins, and finer control over config and startup files.
- Vim can be scripted with vimscript, or with an external scripting language (e.g. python, perl, shell).
There are many more differences. Refer below sources which are few of good places to start finding out more.
Hope it helps! :)
"vi" is an text editor from the early days of Unix. It became quite popular and made its way into the Single Unix Specification (SUS) and POSIX, but wasn't freely available (until 2002).
So several free vi-like editors emerged. Vim (" vi improved") is one of this editors. As the name suggest it adds lot of functions to the original vi interface.
In Ubuntu Vim is the only vi-like editor installed by default, and so
vi actually starts Vim by default.
Other popular vi-like editors available in Ubuntu are for example
vi editor is the most popular text editor in Linux. We can say it has a simple black and white screen i.e. if you type any command there is no code highlighting, where as vim is improved version of VI it also has features same like vi but it also has code highlighting.
Both have these 4 basic modes:
- write mode
- command mode
- Visual mode
- escape mode
There is indeed quite a big difference between them. I use both nvi and vim daily. Neither of them are perfect, but they're still better than anything else is out there.
Vim has more of everything. In addition to syntax hilighting (when compiled with a support for it) it does automatic conversions of charactersets, line-endings and such. It has multiple ways of numbering lines, which is really convenient. Vim certainly has a lot that speaks for it.
Unfortunately vim breaks the vi philosophy by mixing the editor modes and introducing a vast number of useless and redundant functions. Sure it's convenient at first that you can for example move with cursor keys in insert mode, but it also has some really weird unwanted side-effects (for example the . gets quirky and unpredictable).
Vim (while certainly being IMproved as it claims) is also a bloated, weird and inconsistent mixture of a broken vi and a modeless editor. :P
I still love it, though. And you can fix most of that by tuning you configuration ;D