Is there any data on how many users are using Vi vs Vim? I'm under the impression that it's mostly Vim (you may prove me wrong though).

If this should be the go to destination for Vim users then IMHO the name should reflect this.

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    More importantly, do users know the difference? :P Most users from Debian, RHEL (and families), OSX probably won't, since vi is some version of Vim.
    – muru
    Dec 27, 2016 at 13:06
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    I use vi when I want to do something right now and the whole second vim needs to load is too much for me :P
    – Al.G.
    Dec 27, 2016 at 22:26
  • Actually Vi being the ancestor of Vim (VI iMproved), most of its features are also present in Vim (sometimes enhanced versions of these features). It is probably true that the majority of the users uses Vim instead of Vi but questions about Vi are (most of the time) still relevant for Vim users. So using it in the name of the site is not aberrant. A question could be since we are considering Neovim questions as on topic for this site why isn't it called "Vi and Vim and Neovim"? (Also @Al.G.maybe your vimrc would need a bit of cleaning if vim is too slow to start? ;) )
    – statox
    Dec 29, 2016 at 12:26

1 Answer 1


You're right, most questions are about Vim. But what if the site was just named "Vim Stack Exchange"? Then just by name it would suggest that only questions about Vim are allowed, and that all other questions would be off-topic (which they're not). Questions about or are not common, but they do get asked.

Vim just so happens to be the most popular vi clone at this point in time. It has been for a while, but this can change in the future. Remember how fast Xorg replaced XFree? Or how fast svn replaced CVS, which was in turn replaced by git (and in lesser degree hg)? This can happen to Vim as well.

NeoVim doesn't have quite the uptick as those examples. There are probably several reasons for that, but that could change in the future. Or another project could take Vim's place as de-facto vi clone in the future.

IMHO "Vi and Vim" is the best name for now, and naming the site just "Vim" would be roughly analogous to renaming the Unix site to "Linux" just because that so happens to be the most popular Unix clone at the moment (or worse, "Debian" because that's the most popular Linux distro).

Previous related discussions:

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    Your post reads a bit like this site is trying to be everything for everyone. There are some mode-based editors (like Kakoune) that are taking ideas from Vim without being compatible. Should those be included as well?
    – laktak
    Jan 3, 2017 at 17:38
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    @laktak It's a matter of expertise. An expert in vi or Vim would not automatically be an expert in Kakoune (and vice versa). However, someone who is an expert in Vi is by definition also an expert for a large part of Vim and can answer many Vim questions (or vice versa, Vim experts are also Vi experts). e.g. most of the answers in this question work for any vi clone, and this is true for many answers. However, those answers won't work for Kakoune since many commands are different in Kakoune (I tried to use that answer in kak and it didn't work). Jan 3, 2017 at 17:52

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