This site will shortly enter public beta. With that change in status will come fresh opportunities: visibility via search engines and throughout the Stack Exchange network, a team of moderators chosen from within the community, and a path to obtaining the status of a full-fledged member of the Stack Exchange family...

But there will be new challenges as well.

The decision to make this site public was one of the hardest choices I've had to make; I spent a long, long time going through the questions and answers posted here during the private beta, comparing and contrasting them to what was already available elsewhere. Several observations led me to believe this is a community that could stand alone, and - more importantly - thrive:

  • A significant number of questions here are not directly connected to communities or disciplines already present on the network. Most notably, only about 40% of questions are clearly questions about programming or programming tools - given over 65% of the audience here comes from Stack Overflow, that's considerably less than I expected. The majority of questions are what I would call "usage" questions: how to mark text, search, configure defaults, etc.

  • Even when questions can be found on Stack Overflow, many authors here went out of their way to provide answers that were significantly more detailed than what previously existed - it was common for me to see answers that provided multiple solutions to a problem, contrasting them and offering suggestions and caveats to guide the asker in their use.

This was, frankly, a lot better than I expected going in. Even though all but a tiny handful of questions here could be migrated to Stack Overflow without really straining the scope of that site, it's clear to me that y'all are dedicated to building something unique: a general repository of clear, well-explained vi/Vim knowledge. I made it pretty clear going in that I didn't have high hopes for this site - I believe the words I used were "it's a terrible, terrible idea for a site" - and y'all proved me wrong. Not that that's hard to do, but that just makes it even more sad when folks don't even try - but you did, and you succeeded. Kudos!

So here's your new challenge: follow through on it.

A site like this one, where the subject matter is fairly well-documented already (albeit in bits and pieces scattered to the four winds of The Internet) runs the risk of getting... lazy. Sooner or later, everyone's tempted to just pull an answer they've found on Google and post it more or less unchanged, without bothering to ask if there's a better way to solve the problem or explain the solution. And so begins the slow, painful slide from Respected Repository of Vi[m] Knowledge into "that vim content-farm". You've avoided that trap so far - don't let it happen as the site continues to grow.

One of the questions already raised here is how y'all are supposed to handle overlap with other Stack Exchange sites. That's going to keep coming back up, so be ready with the answer: if a question is about working with vi or Vim-family editors, it should get a good answer HERE. If a good answer already exists elsewhere, great! Build on it! Y'all have a pretty easy-to-understand scope here; don't let other communities chip away at it (and of course, grant them the same courtesy).

Three weeks in, this site is off to a good start - but it's only a start. Right now, Stack Overflow is still a better place for programmers with vi/Vim questions, Unix & Linux is still a better place for *nix power users with vi/Vim questions, and Super User is still a better place for pretty much everyone else. In three months, I'm hoping to see that change - I'd love to see this site become the go-to resource, if not for all vi/Vim users then at least for a good chunk of vi/Vim experts, a nexus for information that can propagate throughout the Stack Exchange network and from there the Internet as a whole.

And if that doesn't happen, it'll be because in your hearts you all know that Emacs is a better editor. Go on, prove me wrong again...

  • 8
    tries to resist temptation to post answer consisting entirely of "We told you so!"
    – Doorknob
    Feb 19, 2015 at 2:00
  • 1
    I'm willing to pardon the blasphemy because we're finally public!
    – muru
    Feb 19, 2015 at 3:23
  • Ctrl-A for the last paragraph!
    – user859
    Feb 20, 2015 at 13:08
  • 4
    @Poldie There aren't any numbers in the last paragraph, so wouldn't that do nothing?
    – Doorknob
    Feb 24, 2015 at 16:51
  • I'm excited to see where this goes. How did the decision come about? The last decision I remember was "emacs gets its own SE but vim does not." Feb 25, 2015 at 23:07
  • 3
    @Doorknob I read it as "+1 for the last paragraph" - so the Ctrl-A is not applied to the paragraph, but to the vote count. Feb 28, 2015 at 4:49
  • @VolkerSiegel Ah, heh, I get it. <C-a>
    – Doorknob
    Feb 28, 2015 at 4:55
  • You are correct. "Right now, Stack Overflow is still a better place for programmers with vi/Vim questions, Unix & Linux is still a better place for *nix power users with vi/Vim questions, and Super User is still a better place for pretty much everyone else." So what is the point of this site? It doesn't have a purpose - it just dilutes the SO, SU and U&L communities. Finally IMHO emacs isn't as ""good"" as vim - there should NOT be an emacs SE either. Aug 20, 2015 at 18:58


You must log in to answer this question.

Browse other questions tagged .