"It isn't really Vim's 20th birthday. It's a lot closer to its 35th!" Because of course, vim is really just an extended and improved version of the venerable vi, the first screen-oriented editor for Unix.
While the article starts out with a history of vi, it somehow treats it as if it were a grandparent, rather than the template for what remains. The core design of vim reflects the design insights of Bill Joy, not those of Bram Moolenaar, who refined and updated them."
"Sedat Kapanoglu: Technical innovation process on computing is too organic to find a single originator. Everything is derived from something else and that's what computing industry owes it's amazing progress in such a short term. Unix was from Multics. C was from B which was from BCPL. , and vi was from ex. We can consider vi itself as vim for ex from that perspective. I think there are no distinct thought processes for creating and improving. All creation is improvement and all improvement is a creation. We don't need to have a moment of silence for the father on a kid's birthday. Let the kid enjoy the day."
Isn't it ironic that most people find Java, one of the major accomplishments of Sun, is almost impossible to code in vim or emacs without an IDE though?
Once you get sold on modal text editing it becomes very difficult to accept or use any other editor that doesn't do it (which is pretty much every other text editor out there). Sublime, Textmate, e - all great editors. Don't feel like using any of them after 10 years of Vim.
I think most people developing 'vim-mode' plugins for other environments aren't necessarily vim power users so won't be aware of how natural normal mode is to regular vimmers (and importantly, what features you will miss).
Some sort of vim standard for normal mode might go a way towards making normal mode with its commands a more ubiquitous interface for editing text.
A solid, trustworthy vimperator-style plugin for Excel would be amazing.
I find it great for focusing on the power that M-X brings.
* Komodo Edit / IDE
* Visual Studio
Your plugins, macros and settings though... it's tough to have those follow you around.
It's easier on the fingers. You can move around using jkl, perform clipboard operations,deletions and other text operations generally without having your fingers leave the main keyboard area to reach for the modifier keys or arrows.
It works especially well if you remap Caps to Escape.
It's logical: dd deletes a line. 10dd deletes 10 lines.
f+ moves the cursor to forward to the next '+' character on the line.
2f+ does it twice - moves the cursor to the second '+' on the line.
df+ delete from the current position to the first + character.
Commands are chainable:
d2f+ deletes from the current position to the second '+' on the line.
In general when you have modal UIs (not specific to text editing) it makes it easier to accomplish work as you're working in a 'mode' that is specific to your task. When in insert-mode, your keyboard is used to insert text. In editing-mode your keyboard's functionality is now used for the sole purpose of making edits and manipulating existing text. In visual-mode, the keys provide functionality to easily highlight and manipulate highlighted text.
That said - modal editing does have its drawbacks. There's a higher learning curve. And the lock-in thing I mentioned isn't necessarily a good thing. Non-modal editors can reasonably emulate each other's keybindings allowing you to easily shift between, say, Sublime and Textmate and Visual Studio. But good luck doing any of that with Vim thrown in. Also, Vim users have to still learn a reasonable amount of emacs keybindings in order to efficiently use the command line and native text fields on Linux/MacOSX.
Also as someone joked recently - Vim has 2 modes:
1) Beep at me
2) Destroy all my text
 not actually called that but that's how I like to think of it
And Emacs users remap Caps to Ctrl. Nobody really likes Caps, it seems.
These days, unless you're doing data-entry or a lot of SQL, caps-lock is just wasting (a lot of) prime keyboard real estate -- on the home row, no less!
As usual, computer science is an embarrassment for the computer.
- With non-modal editing, you get precise control of what's happening for every character that you type. In some ways, that kind of granularity is powerful. But what's the cost of that fine-grained control? The cost is having to be explicit about anything "special" you do in an editor with the letter keys. (Namely, you indicate that you're doing something special with the control key.) Imagine having to type capitalized SQL statements in a true non-modal way (i.e., without CAPS LOCK).
- With modal editing, you type in terms of ideas. You insert text when that's appropriate. When it's not appropriate, your entire keyboard (and every combination of keys) is free to do what an editor is actually supposed to do: edit.
And remap Caps Lock as Escape.
I love vim because it is the best. I can't use anything else because nothing else works like it.
I hate vim because it has stopped advancing. It has not had a good update for 5 years.
May 7, 2006 7.0 Spell checking, code completion, tab pages (multiple viewports/window layouts), current line and column highlighting, undo branches, and more
May 12, 2007 7.1 Bug fixes, new syntax and runtime files, etc.
August 9, 2008 7.2 Floating point support in scripts, refactored screen drawing code, bug fixes, new syntax files, etc.
August 15, 2010 7.3 Lua support, Python3 support, Blowfish encryption, persistent undo/redo
We are all still waiting for various types of extensibility, even though they been in the top 5 sponsored requests for over almost 15 years. I normally wouldn't be complaining about free software, but vim is donationware.
Vim itself has stopped advancing, but there is an active community developing very useful and novel plugins. This has happened thanks to several plugin management systems that have arisen independently during the last couple of years.