OnWorks Linux and Windows Online WorkStations


Free Hosting Online for WorkStations

< Previous | Contents | Next >

A Little Background

The first version of vi was written in 1976 by Bill Joy, a University of California at Berkley student who later went on to co-found Sun Microsystems. vi derives its name from the word “visual,” because it was intended to allow editing on a video terminal with a moving cursor. Previous to visual editors, there were line editors which operated on a single line of text at a time. To specify a change, we tell a line editor to go to a particular line and describe what change to make, such as adding or deleting text. With the advent of video terminals (rather than printer-based terminals like teletypes) visual editing be- came possible. vi actually incorporates a powerful line editor called ex, and we can use line editing commands while using vi.

Most Linux distributions don't include real vi; rather, they ship with an enhanced re- placement called vim (which is short for “vi improved”) written by Bram Moolenaar. vim is a substantial improvement over traditional Unix vi and is usually symbolically linked (or aliased) to the name “vi” on Linux systems. In the discussions that follow, we will assume that we have a program called “vi” that is really vim.

Top OS Cloud Computing at OnWorks: