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Neovim: Rebuilding Vim For the 21st Century 248

Posted by timothy
from the vigor-next-to-be-upgraded dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Neovim is a major overhaul of the vim editor to provide better scripting, cleaner support for plugins and integration with modern graphical interfaces. Modernising the large and complex codebase of Vim is a formidable task, but the developer has a clear plan, and has already begun work. There's a Bountysource fundraiser running to support the effort. If Vim is your editor of choice, check it out." (The crowd-funding effort has only one more day to go, but has well exceeded already the initial goal of $10,000.)
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Neovim: Rebuilding Vim For the 21st Century

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 22, 2014 @10:20AM (#46550947)

    if someone came to me to evaluate their budget reasonableness for something they described as a formidable task taking more than a week or two, and asked for $10k, I'd know they were egregiously underestimating or something is missing.
    (and as TFA says: "Over its more than 20 years of life, vim has accumulated about 300k lines of scary C89 code that very few people understand or have the guts to mess with."... that's pretty formidable)

    I suppose some ambitious person living in a low cost of living locale could survive for 6 months on 10k, and that would be a fair amount of work time; toiling in their barren garret or tower.

    TFA says "$10,000 will allow me to dedicate two months of full time work to this project, which will be enough to implement the following:"

    Is $5000/mo a reasonable sum in Recife, Brazil? Probably.

    Is 2 months sufficient time to do all he wants to do? I'm not so sure. That's a pretty long list of things he wants to do.

  • by inflex (123318) on Saturday March 22, 2014 @10:26AM (#46550987) Homepage Journal

    I admit to being curious to see how this one goes as a fork off the existing vim codebase, but I'm not sure I'd be putting any bets on its long term viability. I suspect an overdose of optimism and insufficient compelling reasons for users to shift from vim will starve this project out.

    Good luck to the developer - it's going to be one hell of a learning experience.

  • by rabbin (2700077) on Saturday March 22, 2014 @10:49AM (#46551155)
    Vim has to be one of my favorite programs but I rarely use it for any "ambitious" coding project because it lacks critical features that an IDE provides (the plugins don't cover these gaps either). Right now I'm using Netbeans with the jVi plugin (provides a subset of common vim behavior) for c++ programming and it works well, but if an IDE plugin could simply embed instances of vim into the program itself and have it work seamlessly with the existing IDE features (e.g. advanced code understanding of inheritance hierarchies and type deduction) that would be the ideal. With this in mind, the following from the website sounds really promising:

    First class support for embedding

    Since Neovim will be provide the interface to interacting with text, any program will be able to tap into this potential and be able to include Neovim commands right in the application.

  • by zippthorne (748122) on Saturday March 22, 2014 @10:56AM (#46551195) Journal

    Vim isn't about typing. It's about manipulating text. Some of which involves typing and that's why it has insert mode, but a lot of it is about finding your place in a document or moving one block of text from one area to another area, or changing all of something into something else according to a pattern, and you can do all of this without taking your hands off of the keyboard.

    Why, oh WHY, do those #?@! nutheads use vi? [viemu.com] makes a pretty reasonable argument.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 22, 2014 @11:26AM (#46551371)

    I'm a Brazilian, though I don't live in Recife.

    > Is $5000/mo a reasonable sum in Recife, Brazil? Probably.

    Agreed.

    USD $5,000 is a hefty sum in Brazil to be earned for a month's work, though it's not obscene. Some things are way expensive here (like cars and houses), some are somewhat more expensive (like computers) and some are cheap (like food). We're more or less like an inverted Japan, in economic terms.

    From his previous initiatives, the guy seems to belong to a category with few people who could deserve to be that well paid.

    He says he has a son; from experience, considering what is involved when one is not single, I'd say he made a good estimate about what he needs for survival while tackling with this project.

    > Is 2 months sufficient time to do all he wants to do? I'm not so sure.

    Again, agreed.

    But then that's the "stone soup" idea: you call people's help to do something which seems impossible and -- whether it's feasible or not -- something wonderful happens as people join in and make the miracle happen. It's one of the most powerful visions if one has ever witnessed such thing and makes one hope we will one day vanquish things like wars.

    By the way, others do that but not always with good intentions. At least, he has clear and valid objectives IMHO.

    My point here though is that he wants vim to be made more easy to develop, probably because he likes vim a lot. Even if things turn up up harder to do and it takes him one year to finish, maybe we get a richer development ecosystem and a more modular application.

    That would be indeed nice.

    We are lucky that he wants to do such things, but I'd advise him to pay greater attention to the incoming baby and get a stable position (e.g. in public service) and dedicate less time to free software.

    That said, I had to introduce vim at work because notepad is a piece of garbage and now the problem is lay people want to use it. I'm feeling a bit like Prometheus and scared of having to push big stones over mountains.

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