Gabe's Vim Pages

Vim SGI binaries

You can get vim compiled for SGI's IRIX.
Special feature: it has been configured with XIM (so that you can type in Japanese characters [and probably other Asian languages]), and cscope.

Autocorrect conversion

Here is a little program which turns word's autocorrect lists into a "iab" file which can be sourced from within vim. Then, if you make a typo which is in that list, it will be corrected automagically.
This is an example of such an autcorrect "iab" file; it is WindowsXP's English ACL file, converted to vim. I use for writing LaTeX documents.

"vimrc" files

Should you care, here are my "vimrc" files. Just untar the tar-file (1.7 MB) in your home, and viola!
They contain features and settings for C++ programming, LaTeX, mutt, spell checking, and lots of other neat stuff.
They should work fine under Unix/Linux + [t]csh and Windows without any tweaking. On other platforms, you might have to adjust them a little to your paths/shell/OS (look for the tilde and zach).
You might also which to take a look at my X resources.

Conversion between LaTeX and HTML

Here are a few vi (well, vim :-)
html2tex macros to help converting html into LaTeX source. They do some simple replacements, such as <TT>...</TT> will be replaced by \texttt{...}, "..." will be replaced by ``...'', and so on. Just load the html source into vim, then :source the macros.
And for the other way, here's tex2html macros. I must confess that they are not as complete as the html2tex macros!


Here is my little collection of vi/vim links:

Tutorials and references

Emacs vs Vim

Here is my point of view in the religious war of "Emacs vs Vi[m]".

First, I should begin by making clear that there are situations/preferences for which vim is not the editor of choice:

  1. Don't focus so much on counting key strokes, because then you quickly get into discussing whether to count $ as one keystroke or two.

  2. If you really want a tool that is "all-in-one", i.e., which has an editor, a mail reader, a news reader, a browser, etc., then emcas is your choice.
    ("Emacs wouldn't be such a bad operating system, if only it had a decent editor" -- ok ok, this was a little bit polemic, it's just one of those jokes about emacs which seemed in order ;-)

  3. If you need an editor for writing letters and other "prose", then Word or something similar is probably best.

If the above are not your premier criteria, then vim is your choice:
  1. vim is upward compatible to vi.
    So if you master vim you can edit with vi. vi is on every unix box, even on the most "naked" ones.
    In addition, vi runs on practically any terminal and any connection, even when logged in from half around the world through several "hops". (I'm typing this on an old Ampex terminal (vt 100 like) via a 9600 Baud connection.)

  2. vim works like you think.
    Many commands are "mnemonic". In a recent post, Randy has put it quite nicely:
    As I said earlier, vi works like I think. I think "replace this word with that one;" "delete this line;" "yank this paragraph and put it down there;" "move there and insert a word;" "format this paragraph." Vi provides commands that map to how I think. Some of the time I'm just typing in text without editing it, but normally I'm editing text. I tend to write something, then go back and make it perfect. I prefer to copy something that is already there and then modify it to be what I need. This expresses very well what I believe has been a major design goal of vi!

  3. Now for the modal/modeless controversy.
    If you really think about it, it boils down to the following: it's a matter of how you define "modal"/"modeless"; in other words: if vim is modal, so is emacs - if emacs is modeless, so is vim.
    The reason: in emcas you are by default in "insert" mode; you have to type "ctrl-m ..." to issue an editor command; so "ctrl-m" is actually a switch to command mode). In vim, you are by default in command mode; when in insert mode, you type <esc> and then some command, and then i to get into insert mode again.
    While programming, you are at least half of the time in command mode (if you are an Emacs user you might not be aware of that because nobody calls it like like that). The difference between Vim and Emacs is that most most Vim commands are mnemonic and need much less modifier keys, such as Ctrl, Alt, etc.

  4. I believe that modal editors are more efficient for programming (and similar tasks, like writing latex).
    This is because I find myself much more often editing text which is already there, rather than producing new text which hasn't been there before.
    This goes well with the observation, which someone reported in the comp.editors news group about joint strain. I almost get joint strain myself when I see emacs users holding down the ctrl or alt key all the time with their pinky or thumb ;-) ...

  5. I'm not sure what the reason is, but I've never seen emacs users who actually used all those feature which emacs-the-editor offers. (At the office, I'm surrounded by emacs and nedit users ;-) I mean features like marks, tags, jumping up/down paragraph-wise, jumping to the beginning/end of a function, searching identifiers in all include files, etc....
    I suspect, this is because it's simply just too difficult to remember all those ctrl-alt chords. :) [no offense intended!]

  6. Speed: CPU-wise, vim is still by far more efficient than emacs.
    I can tell, because my office-mate uses emacs :) Try running emacs on an SGI Indy! Or on a PC/486!

  7. Links related to this discussion: ,

So, IMHO there are a lot of reasons why vim is better than emacs, but that depends on your preferences.


Should you experience any problem with downloading,
or should you have any suggestions or comments,
then please let me know by email to zach

 by ChangeDetection (it's free and it's private).
Gabriel Zachmann
Last modified: Sat May 12 17:13:15 MDT 2007