JaxPHP / JaxWeb Message Board › Vi(m) recap

Vi(m) recap

Eric N.
user 4016762
Group Organizer
Orange Park, FL
Post #: 63
People at our last meetup had strong opinons about Vi(m) and/or their other favorite editors!

I apologize for not having a live demo this time - I promise to work one up and post it to supplement the YouTube links. I guess I assumed most developers in our group had some exposure to Vi(m); that most non-users had at least tried it out. After all, it's the standard editor in Unix and Linux, and has been for more than 30 years.

So I was just offering a capsule review of how some of Vi(m)'s apparent quirks are really it's strengths, within the historical context of the development of Unix and the philosophy of tools vs. applications.

But I guess the past really is prologue, because in our discussion we seemed to fall into two distinct groups:

If your computer experience has been mostly or exclusively GUIs (or DOS, back in the day), you probably use stand-alone WIMP* applications for most of your work, including programming and web development. And you've probably either never tried Vi(m), or didn't inhale, because it just seemed strange and limited.

If you chronically use Unix/Linux command-line tools as a programmer or web developer, you probably consider Vi(m) the fastest and most powerful editor available, and if you're a serious user you've personalized your configuration and added plug-ins for the languages you use most.

I probably should have expected that split. But I noticed something else. The split was between Vi(m) or Not-Vi(m), but I didn't hear any consensus in favor of an alternative among the Not-Vi(m) contingent.

Did I miss something?

* [W]indows, [I]cons, [M]ouse and [P]ull-down menus.
A former member
Post #: 69
Yup! A few speaking good of Eclipse and a quick demo with WeBuilder with in a few seconds you can create a webpage with the library of user snippets, adding google adsense (working) and the underground weather (working) with error checked PHP, HTML, and Javascript then testing it in a preview pane through the use of its built in webserver (real google adsense and real time weather, live demo)! That was done in less than a minute so I guess I could see how someone could of missed that. Plus WeBuilder is standalone not requiring the dependency of JAVA so it blows the doors off Eclipse on speed.

It is comparing apples to oranges, vi(m) is great for certain things but I do not have to relearn control-c to use Eclipse or WeBuilder (nor remember any DOS interrupts, CD21, that would be Bill Gates thing).


It has a price tag, That means someone supports it, not just anybody!
WeBuilder

Tim
ZipOnOver, Business tools for local businesses
A former member
Post #: 70
I missed something!

WeBuilder
Negative: MS platform only
Positive: Can use TortoiseSVN to handle version control.

TortoiseSVN The coolest Interface to (Sub)Version Control
TortoiseSVN manual

Eric N.
user 4016762
Group Organizer
Orange Park, FL
Post #: 64
Yes, I did hear Don's praise for Eclipse, and I remember your demo of WeBuilder. And before the meetup, a web developer couldn't make it asked me if she should be try Vi(m) if she was happy with Dreamweaver. I had to say no: happy Dreamweaver users aren't likely Vim candidates. (Although unhappy ones might be.)

But that's not a consensus, that's three different opinions from three Windows desktop users.

My observation was that, by contrast, there is a consensus among Unix/Linux users around Vi(m). People may use other editors or IDE's for special tasks, but Vi(m) is the default for most editing, and many users' first choice for an IDE.

Many Windows desktop coders are also hooked on Vim. Like at least one of the YouTube tutorial authors I referenced. And back in the '90's, when one tech columnist conducted a survey among other tech writers and editors about their favorite word processor, I remember that one of the Vi fans included the then-Editor-in-Chief of PC Magazine.
A former member
Post #: 71
I think this speaks for it self! WeBuilder generates more traffic in the world and USA then vim, point blank Eclipse makes it no question of which is more popular. Remember WeBuilder has a price tag and is Windows only.

US popularity by web traffic
VIM 44,750 LAST
Eclipse 7,621 FIRST
WeBuilder 32,027



Eric N.
user 4016762
Group Organizer
Orange Park, FL
Post #: 65
Interesting stats, except I see different numbers in your graphic: while Eclipse looks very popular overall, Alexa ranks Blumental and Vim about the same. And it looks like there are more than 4 times as many links to Vim.org. (Not to mention that Vim is a single program, while Blumental is selling multiple products.)

But I agree with your point: for the 90% or so of computer users running Windows, Vim is just a strange old editor. While for Linux, Mac and Unix users, Vi(m) is installed by default - no need to download it to try it out.

The focus of my presentation wasn't to sell Vi, but to illustrate that Vi's unusual interface and considerable power are both a product of it's history and environment: incorporating both the old-school ex commands and all the other Unix text utilities.

Although many programmers and developers do use Vim in Windows because of its speed and efficiency, beginners naturally use relatively few ex commands, and even experts don't have the benefits of the text utilities by default.

So it does makes sense that Windows users would be shopping around for other editors with a GUI.
Max
user 3695785
Jacksonville, FL
Post #: 5
I think it is politically incorrect to compare VIM - a text editor to a some sort of IDE. It is like saying that Photoshop has more options then WeBuilder.
The fact that a lot of people are choosing to use VIM instead of full-scale IDE should say a lot about its capabilities.
And product having a "Price Tag" does not give you any warranties that the company will not go out of business tomorrow. In case of VIM I am pretty sure that it'll around as long as Linux and Unix is.

Good day :)
A former member
Post #: 73
It is easy for someone who lives on a tropical island to have no concept of snow, as someone who lives on the polar caps to have no concept of a palm tree. I at least installed eclipse, netbeans, and vi(m) to say at least I made the trip there to check it out. They are all great in there own ways!

Actually sites linked in to can be a bad thing as a good thing and is also is similar to the powers of two more time equals a doubling effect. The possibly bad is linked in sites usually equals many forums and that means "I am having an issue". The thing is that vim.org links are not equaling traffic to the site. Some guy in Latvia is getting paid for his excellent work on the scale in less time of existence to what vim gets by being FREE and around forever!

I personally have little use for vi(m), if I need to manipulate data I do it with MySQL and PHP, If I want to create code, I want to do it once, so I want a library that I can copy and sort my snippets of code into and when I research and find a code that helps, I can stick that in my library, I do not need to go look for it again. If I make an error whether HTML, Javascript, PHP, I know immediately. Etc...etc...etc...etc...

The error in my evaluation using Alexa was Blumentals has other products but WeBuilder is the flagship and most are a lesser version such as RapidPHP (same thing without ASP and Ruby support). vi is also a title for a group of products with a particular style, as ex-vi, so pointing to the most popular use of vi is not showing all the traffic vi products generate. Last vi is installed standard on most non-MS platforms. Like MAX said, they are not the same as vi has a different function set, making it better for certain things, preach it for what it is better at and not what it is fair or mediocre at.

I think that this is a fair statement.

PS - Many do not install GUI on Linux (servers) and use vi to edit the configuration files.
Eric N.
user 4016762
Group Organizer
Orange Park, FL
Post #: 66
I think it is politically incorrect to compare VIM - a text editor to a some sort of IDE. It is like saying that Photoshop has more options then WeBuilder.
The fact that a lot of people are choosing to use VIM instead of full-scale IDE should say a lot about its capabilities.

I'm not familiar with WeBuilder, but the degree to which Vi is integrated with the shell does makes it work much like a stand-alone IDE - I know, it's CLI instead of GUI, but that integration is a powerful feature.

And product having a "Price Tag" does not give you any warranties that the company will not go out of business tomorrow. In case of VIM I am pretty sure that it'll around as long as Linux and Unix is.

Good day :)

Ok, I didn't want to go there, Tim, but I have to say I agree with Max.

C'mon, neither the Web nor PHP have a price tag. I understand the argument that you get what you pay for, but it's risky to depend on tools or infrastructure that are controlled a vendor. Eric Raymond on that: http://catb.org/~esr/...­

A former member
Post #: 76
The day I write a 100 megabyte PHP file (uncompiled) (at which point I would consider myself a sloppy PHP programmer) I will consider vi but till then vi is at best mediocre for designing and programming complex websites. The day they nuke the world and we all have to fall back on tube driven computers and CLI interfaces and abacuses then I will consider vi but there are a thousand better for doing website programming, we did not mention Netbeans, Zend Studio, and this is definitely an ETC.......

For your fire:
PHP editors

WeBuilder did not make the list but neither did NetBeans and there are many to die for NetBeans fans in this group. So many editors and that site stinks as a resource! I just do not get what the marketing push for vi into a market that vi is becoming obsolete in? This is starting to feel like Amway, preach till we believe. Hope I got the correct AL AH with that CD21? (loved my debug)

PS I use my Library to also hold my Actionscript snippets for Flash and SQL statement snippets for use in other programs, that is too cool!

This is from Alligator Flash (Another program I paid for) Tutorials: I do not need to re-create or re-find how to make it snow in flash it is in my WeBuilder library. Took less than 10 seconds to paste code here, if placed in my Flash program I would have snow flakes (Even in July)
Alligator Flash Tutorials

maxsnowflakes = 100;
var snowflakes = new Array();
for(i=0;i<maxsnowflakes;i++)
{
// create new instance of the paper
snowflakes = Snowflake.duplicateMovieClip("snowf­lake"+i,100+i);
// put it in random place and random rotation
snowflakes._x = Stage.width*Math.random();
snowflakes._y = Stage.height*Math.random();
snowflakes._xscale = 40+Math.random()*60;
snowflakes._yscale = snowflakes._xscale;
snowflakes.yspeed = Math.random()*4+ 1;
snowflakes.increment = -0.025+Math.random()*0.05;
snowflakes.onEnterFrame = function() {
this.radians = this.increment + this.radians;
this._y = this.yspeed + this._y;
this._x = Math.sin(this.radians) + this._x;
if (this._y>Stage.height) {
this._y = 0-10;
this._x = 0-10+Math.random()*Stage.width;
}
}
}
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