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Reflections on Vim, and the death of its creator

While I hate to have my first Blaugust be so misrepresentative of what I hope to write about, I can't let the passing of Bram Moonlenaar go unacknowledged.

In modern "always on, soundbytes, 30s news cycle" culture, too many lines of text are spilled writing about "celebrity" deaths by what a loss they are. This isn't going to be that. I don't even know, or particularly care, if Bram was considered a celebrity, even in the circles where he would have been super relevant. I didn't know the man. All I can say on his passing is that I wish his family peace.

What I can talk about is the tool he created, its ubiuquity, and its impact on generations of system admins and developers (myself very much included). For decacdes after its release, Vim was one of, it not the, defato text editor installed on Unix-like systems. Millions of lines of text, if not more, have been written about its virtues. A decades long flame war about weather it, or Emacs, is the supreior tool, has also raged.

Vim is strange. It doesn't behave like any other tool I've used (except ones based, at least conceptually, on it). It operates in an array of modes, each for a different kind of task. The biggest mental hurdle to overcome in undrstanding this is the idea that "creating text and editing text are fundamentally different operations". I won't lie, its definately strage at first. Its weird, it seems esoteric, possibly even arcane. And, honestly, despite how much I love it, I am often hesitant to reccomend it for "new" users. But, I've been using it, almost daily, since somewhere around 2002. I've already scaled the learning cliff, and am now reaping the rewards. Not curve, cliff. Its not "better" (or "worse") than other toos, but it is "better for me".

So, while I never knew Bram, he's impacted my daily life significantly.

For anyone out there that's used Vim, NeoVim, or any of their other derritives, please join in a :q! to pay respects.

See you out there.