Talk:Vim (text editor)

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History of the acronymEdit

The "Ryan" source says "The name “Vim” originally stood for Vi IMitation, but it later became Vi IMproved. The name was changed in 1992 when version 1.22 was released". However, in the "Release history" section, we say "December 14, 1993 - v2.0 - This is the first release using the name Vi IMproved." The source for the latter entry isn't terribly useful in it's archive.org form as it's a directory listing and the links don't appear to work.

We need to find some other sources to date that change and ideally to flesh out some context around it. If that's not possible, we might have to note a discrepancy. I'm not sure the filewatcher citation is of any use now and should possibly be removed. --kingboyk (talk) 20:01, 29 August 2019 (UTC)

A google search on "vim" "Vi IMitation" "history" (with the quotes) turns up a bunch of sources, but I didn't have time to do more than skim a few.
Some of them are:
Like I said, I just skimmed these. I will see if I can get some time to do a proper evaluation in the next week or so if somebody doesn't do it first. --Guy Macon (talk) 22:40, 29 August 2019 (UTC)
I've just had a thought re the Ryan source. It was written in November 2011 (and very nicely written too). This article was already quite well fleshed out by then - here's how it stood on 26 October 2011. One has to wonder if the author consulted this article. We then reference him... well, you see where I'm going :) That's a wider problem for Wikipedia. It does though strengthen my opinion that we need some extra sources. @OliviaZoe0: will you take a look at the above links and/or look for some other sources? Confirmation of when the name changed would be good, and indeed why. --kingboyk (talk) 00:10, 30 August 2019 (UTC)

(I have a collection of vim tarballs, vim's record-keeping in the early 1990s is not systematic): vim-1.27 (April 9, 1993) refers to it as "Vi IMitation", while vim-2.0 (December 14, 1993) refers to it as "Vi IMproved". I'd disregard the sources entirely which diverge from those known points. TEDickey (talk) 00:36, 30 August 2019 (UTC)

This checks out. Looking at the readme and comments in some headers still refer to Vi IMitation up until 2.0. That being said, it's entirely possible the name change was done without modifying the code. It could be an internal reference and/or was a name change set to affect a later version. The thing is that all the sources originate from the Vim developer in a somewhat unclear manner (because it's entirely possible for i.e. Wikipedia to change its name now, but not have it take effect until the end of the year). I suggest we don't do anything about the version yet. Let's try to find a source that looks slightly different than being straight from the developer to see when it really took effect. If we can't do that, I'd suggest re-writing the paragraph to either include the 1.22 rename, but specify that it at least didn't take effect until 2.0, or just cut the 1.22 part entirely. -- OliviaZoe0 ❤️ (She/her) (talk) 18:16, 30 August 2019 (UTC)

The latter (remove mention of 1.22 and correct the year). It's more than "some headers", because "Vi IMitation" was used throughout the code (45 occurrences in 1.24, 44 in 1.27, replaced by "Vi IMproved" in each case in 2.0). There are 54 C-files in 2.0, with 7 not mentioning vim at all. Further, 1.22 is undated in the source code, implying perhaps a year before 2.0 was released. The 1992 date is given by someone long after the event. There's no contemporary source for anything earlier than late 1993. The version.c file description of 1.22 doesn't correspond to the first source given (apparently written by someone who began using vim 6 years later) which says something entirely different: "The name was changed in 1992 when version 1.22 was released with compelling new features and a UNIX port." versus

 VIM 1.22 - Fixed a bug in doput() with count > 1.                              
            Port to linux by Juergen Weigert included.                          
            More unix semantics in writeit(), forceit flag ignores errors while 
            preparing backup file. For UNIX, backup is now copied, not moved.   
            When the current directory is not writable, vim now tries a backup  
            in the directory given with the backupdir option. For UNIX, raw mode
            has now ICRNL turned off, that allowes ^V^M. Makefiles for BSD,     
            SYSV, and linux unified in makefile.unix. For MSDOS                 
            mch_get_winsize() implemented. Reimplemented builtin termcaps in    
            term.c and term.h. set_term() now handles all cases. Even builtins  
            when TERMCAP is defined. Show "..." while doing filename completion

i.e., not compelling. The second source given for the 1992 date does not mention this at all. TEDickey (talk) 20:08, 30 August 2019 (UTC)

By the way, the other mention of 1992 (Unix port in 1.22) needs a better source, since the sole (primary) primary source given omits the month and year, unlike the other versions listed in that source, likely because (a) there was no public announcement and/or (b) the year was filled in from memory. Late 1992 is plausible since the (dated) 1.24 came in mid-January. That does express an intention to change the name, but lacking a published, contempory WP:RS to the contrary, the 'actual change took place about a year later. One's memory is not a reliable source TEDickey (talk) 20:38, 30 August 2019 (UTC)

I investigated further, finding that Ryan did in fact use this topic as the source for the comment about 1.22, and added the note with the supporting information to one of my FAQs. Have a nice day. TEDickey (talk) 10:43, 31 August 2019 (UTC)

And following up, applied the changes which I've indicated. By the way, I found no useful (non-primary) source for the 1988 date which were not quoting from the sole primary source. As mentioned elsewhere, a useful source would be from the early 1990s, and not part of a promotional presentation. So I tagged that also TEDickey (talk) 10:49, 7 September 2019 (UTC)

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