When I initially wrote this question, I mistakenly wrote "ex mode" instead of "command-line mode".

Some of the comments clarified my mistake, and suggested a solution.

There was also some uncommon and interesting information on normal mode being called "command mode" in the documentation, and key maps sometimes being called "macros".

  1. I can't see comment edits in the edit history. Why not?
  2. Why was this information deleted?
  • 2
    I deleted the comments. Why would you expect them to be kept? I edited your question to clear up the confusion about ex mode and command-line mode, and Statox posted his comment as an answer. Sep 26, 2017 at 12:45
  • Cheers, I do see your good intentions. I'm fine regarding ex and the answer. Useful information was lost re "normal" vs "command" and "macro" vs "map". It seems there is a system-wide lack of transparency about edits made to comments in general.
    – Tom Hale
    Sep 27, 2017 at 5:08
  • I'm okay with my comment being removed. I do think it sucks that there's no notification of deletion or any record of the comments' existence, but that's a SE infrastructure issue which presumably our mods have no control over.
    – Rich
    Sep 27, 2017 at 12:48

1 Answer 1


For reference, these are all the comments on that answer:

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Statox's comment was re-posted as an answer, so his comment seems redundant to me?

Rich's comment about the different Vim modes is useful, as it clarified your question, but I'm not sure what the value is in keeping it after the question was edited?

The point of the Stack Exchange format is to – as the tour phrases it – "Ask questions, get answers, no distractions". It seems to me that an aside about terminology doesn't really fit that?

If you ever search a problem on the internet and you end up on a forum or mailing list you know how annoying random commentary can be. You frequently have to dig through pages of comments and asides to actually get at useful information (if there is any). Many of those comments were useful and educational for the OP at the time they were posted, but they're often not very useful for future visitors.

The point of keeping things "distraction-free" isn't so much to help the question asker (e.g. you), but rather to help future visitors. Remember that the primary goal is to build a foundation for vi/vim knowledge. This site is a "Vim wiki" just as much as it is the Vim mailinglist. You probably wouldn't expect random commentary about Vim modes on a wiki page about the FocusGained autocommand either ;-)

I appreciate that this narrow format can at times be somewhat restrictive by the way, but it does bring real advantages. I guess that the SE sites are like a Unix tool: "do one thing and do it well".

  • Cheers - I really appreciate the time you took to explain this to me.
    – Tom Hale
    Sep 28, 2017 at 13:10

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