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The portable subset of the behavior of vi and programs based on it, and the ex editor language supported within these programs, is described by and thus standardized by the Single Unix Specification and POSIX. The original code for vi was written by Bill Joy in , as the visual mode for a line editor called ex that Joy had written with Chuck Haley.
It was not until version 2.
Some current implementations of vi can trace their source code ancestry to Bill Joy; others are completely new, largely compatible reimplementations.
The name "vi" is derived from the shortest unambiguous abbreviation for the ex command visual , which switches the ex line editor to visual mode. In addition to various non— free software variants of vi distributed with proprietary implementations of Unix, vi was opensourced with OpenSolaris , and several free and open source software vi clones exist.
Learn Vi Editor Basics in 20 minutes
They carried on with TTYs and other printing terminals for a long time, and when they did buy screens for everyone, they got Tektronix s. These were large storage tube displays. You can't run a screen editor on a storage-tube display as the picture can't be updated.
Thus it had to fall to someone else to pioneer screen editing for Unix, and that was us initially, and we continued to do so for many years.
Vi editor command in linux pdf readers
Coulouris considered the cryptic commands of ed to be only suitable for "immortals", and thus in February , he enhanced ed using Ken Thompson's ed source as a starting point to make em the "editor for mortals"  while acting as a lecturer at Queen Mary College.
It was one of the first programs on Unix to make heavy use of "raw terminal input mode", in which the running program, rather than the terminal device driver, handled all keystrokes.
Some people considered this new kind of editor to be a potential resource hog, but others, including Bill Joy , were impressed. Inspired by em, and by their own tweaks to ed,  Bill Joy and Chuck Haley, both graduate students at UC Berkeley , took code from em to make en,   and then "extended" en to create ex version 0. Many of the ideas in ex's visual mode a. According to Bill Joy,  inspiration for vi's visual mode came from the Bravo editor, which was a bimodal editor.
In an interview about vi's origins, Joy said: . A lot of the ideas for the screen editing mode were stolen from a Bravo manual I surreptitiously looked at and copied. Dot is really the double-escape from Bravo, the redo command.
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Most of the stuff was stolen. There were some things stolen from ed —we got a manual page for the Toronto version of ed, which I think Rob Pike had something to do with. We took some of the regular expression extensions out of that. On this terminal, the Escape key was at the location now occupied by the Tab key on the widely used IBM PC keyboard on the left side of the alphabetic part of the keyboard, one row above the middle row.
This made it a convenient choice for switching vi modes. Also, the keys h , j , k , l served double duty as cursor movement keys and were inscribed with arrows, which is why vi uses them in that way. The ADM-3A had no other cursor keys.
Joy explained that the terse, single character commands and the ability to type ahead of the display were a result of the slow baud modem he used when developing the software and that he wanted to be productive when the screen was painting slower than he could think.
In a interview, Joy attributed much of the success of vi to the fact that it was bundled for free, whereas other editors, such as Emacs , could cost hundreds of dollars. Eventually it was observed that most ex users were spending all their time in visual mode, [ citation needed ] and thus in ex 2. Thus, vi is not the evolution of ex, vi is ex.
Joy described ex 2.
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By version 3. Joy continued to be lead developer for vi until version 2. I wish we hadn't used all the keys on the keyboard.
I think one of the interesting things is that vi is really a mode -based editor. I think as mode-based editors go, it's pretty good.
Those are two ideas which never occurred to me. I also wasn't very good at optimizing code when I wrote vi. I think the redisplay module of the editor is almost intractable. It does a really good job for what it does, but when you're writing programs as you're learning That's why I stopped working on it. What actually happened was that I was in the process of adding multiwindows to vi when we installed our VAX , which would have been in December of ' We didn't have any backups and the tape drive broke.
I continued to work even without being able to do backups. And then the source code got scrunched and I didn't have a complete listing. I had almost rewritten all of the display code for windows, and that was when I gave up. After that, I went back to the previous version and just documented the code, finished the manual and closed it off. If that scrunch had not happened, vi would have multiple windows, and I might have put in some programmability—but I don't know.
The fundamental problem with vi is that it doesn't have a mouse and therefore you've got all these commands. In some sense, its backwards from the kind of thing you'd get from a mouse-oriented thing.
Learn Useful ‘Vi/Vim’ Editor Tips and Tricks to Enhance Your Skills – Part 1
I think multiple levels of undo would be wonderful, too. But fundamentally, vi is still ed inside.
You can't really fool it. It's like one of those pinatas—things that have candy inside but has layer after layer of paper mache on top. It doesn't really have a unified concept.
I think if I were going to go back—I wouldn't go back, but start over again. In ,  Mark Horton took on responsibility for vi.
Horton added support for arrow and function keys, macros, and improved performance by replacing termcap with terminfo. Up to version 3. At UC Berkeley, changes were made but the version number was never updated beyond 3.
While commercial vendors could work with Bill Joy's codebase and continue to use it today , many people could not. People looking for a free Unix-style editor would have to look elsewhere.
To fill the void left by removing vi, their BSD distribution adopted Elvis as its vi replacement. Using Kirkendall's Elvis version 1. Despite the existence of vi clones with enhanced featuresets, sometime before June ,  Gunnar Ritter ported Joy's vi codebase taken from 2. Ritter continued to make small enhancements to the vi codebase similar to those done by commercial Unix vendors still using Joy's codebase, including changes required by the POSIX.
His work is available as Traditional Vi , and runs today on a variety of systems. But although Joy's vi was now once again available for BSD Unix, it arrived after the various BSD flavors had committed themselves to nvi, which provides a number of enhancements over traditional vi, and drops some of its legacy features such as open mode for editing one line at a time.
Over the years since its creation, vi became the de facto standard Unix editor and a hacker favorite outside of MIT until the rise of Emacs after about For example, typing i while in command mode switches the editor to insert mode, but typing i again at this point places an "i" character in the document. From insert mode, pressing ESC switches the editor back to command mode. A perceived advantage of vi's separation of text entry and command modes is that both text editing and command operations can be performed without requiring the removal of the user's hands from the home row.
Learn Linux, 101: File editing with vi
As non-modal editors usually have to reserve all keys with letters and symbols for the printing of characters, any special commands for actions other than adding text to the buffer must be assigned to keys that do not produce characters, such as function keys, or combinations of modifier keys such as Ctrl , and Alt with regular keys.
Vi has the property that most ordinary keys are connected to some kind of command for positioning, altering text, searching and so forth, either singly or in key combinations. Many commands can be touch typed without the use of Ctrl or Alt. Other types of editors generally require the user to move their hands from the home row when touch typing :.
For instance, in vi, replacing a word is c w replacement text Escape , which is a combination of two independent commands change and word-motion together with a transition into and out of insert mode. Text between the cursor position and the end of the word is overwritten by the replacement text. The operation can be repeated at some other location by typing. Many a user made the mistake of providing input while in command mode or entering a command while in input mode.
In other words, it is a typical Unix program that does exactly what it should and nothing more. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Keyboard-oriented text editor. For other uses, see Vi disambiguation. Tildes signify lines not present in the file.
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The editor that's always there
Retrieved 15 July Archived from the original on 10 February Retrieved 3 June Retrieved 27 March Retrieved 6 February Hacker's Dictionary 4. Linux Journal. Retrieved 22 January Salus, Addison-Wesley , pages — February The Register. Archived from the original on 13 May Retrieved 30 June