I read here that the community decided over three years ago on restricting the subject-mater material. There were no dissenting views. Moreover, the Area51 discussions also lack any dissenting views from the now dominant opinion. The FAQ has only this to say,

Please limit your questions to specific queries about members of the Vi and Vim family of editors

To summarize, most of these discussions have assumed a definition of "vim ecosystem" as being,

  1. A text-editor
  2. That descends from vi/vim.

For me, that's a very narrow definition.

My perspective

As a thought experiment,

  1. If some of the code was borrowed directly from Vim and integrated into the browser, would the browser then be on topic here?
  2. If Vim was directly compiled to Web Assembly and you ran it on a web page would it be on topic here?
  3. If Vim was re-implemented in JavaScript with the intention to be full-featured implementation, would it be on topic here?
  4. If something targets vim users, and is made possible only through extension should it be on topic here like VRoom, Vimium, or Surfing Keys?

I don't just use VI, I use other utilities that focus primarily on VIM-keybindings, and I'm interested in spreading these keybindings and this object-modifier syntax to other aspects of the computer-interface. I believe that Vim creates people like me, and the popularity of these tools speaks to that. I think this site would be better if it made an effort to cater to #VimLife or whatever, and not just the editor.

Suggested Fix

If you ask me what makes Vi and Vim unique and a better method to establish subject matter boundary for the site, I would prefer to differentiate on,

  • Software created for the goal of Vi-like keybindings.
  • A difference between insert and non-insert (edit/browse/navigate etc) mode.

While of course leaving all the things currently on-topic, on-topic.


This would immediate make the following types of software on topic,

  • 8
    To me it seems that the important question is not "what is this program?" but rather "does the community have expertise in this?" I love vi, but don't think vi-like mappings work all that well in other tools (I use it in my shell, but only rarely), and thus don't have a whole lot of expertise on those topics; but perhaps I'm the exception? Also, there are a lot of vi-like programs out there; just in the browser space there are dozens of programs and extensions. I think "vi-like mappings" may be very broad? Either way, it's an interesting discussion, so +1 for being a useful question. Dec 4, 2018 at 5:06
  • Thanks for being receptive to it at least. I would also really really really urge you to check out SurfingKeys if you're a Chome user. (Things have come a long way, and those dozen extensions have pretty much all consolidated onto that one) Dec 4, 2018 at 5:14
  • 4
    I completely agree with Martin's comment about the community expertise. Also I have trouble seeing how a browser plugin can be related to Vim: because you use hjkl to navigate in a web page or to control your browser doesn't have anything to do with Vim. It is not about manipulating text, it is not about integrating your text editor with external tools and (IMO) it is not even about making your browser a modal tool since the navigation in the browser is completely decorrelated to the (few) times you need to insert text.
    – statox
    Dec 4, 2018 at 13:35
  • 3
    So I think the discussion should remain open and of course all of our community has a word to say but to me, if something should be changed it is the clarification that the tools on topic here are 1) text editors 2) following the modal paradigm 3) with behaviors that are common to actual Vim implementations. i.e. "I use IdeaVim and I want to create a mapping to go to the end of line": on topic, "I use IdeaVim and I can't use my Vim mapping because :tabn doesn't exist": off topic, "How do I create a mapping to open a new browser tab in CVim": off topic
    – statox
    Dec 4, 2018 at 13:35
  • 1
    @statox yes, hjlk pages the screen like in vim, but there are probably hundreds of keybindings including an analog [g]go, [y]ank, [m]ark, [p]aste. And if you hit any text box and type Ctrl+i, as compared to regular insert mode, you get a JavaScript VIM box popup at you so you can edit it with ACE in vim mode. Surfing Keys has ~8k users. cVim has ~40,000 users. My assumption is many of them are on this site; my belief, that it would enhance the community for all if those were welcomed contributions. Dec 4, 2018 at 15:41
  • 3
    @EvanCarroll I still tend to disagree: IMO going to somewhere is not common to navigating a code base in Vim or even any file. Yanking and pasting don't have the same purpose in a browser (getting some text to use in another software or filling a form) than in a text editor (most of the time, moving some code around). The Vim pop up could fall into the "editor behaving like Vim" scenario. For your assumption about the communities overlaps I would be curious to see some numbers about that and I still think that merging two community because they use unrelated tools is not the best idea.
    – statox
    Dec 4, 2018 at 16:09
  • There are 19 yank operations in Surfing Keys, you can argue they're not the same as they are in vim, and that would be true: it's a browser. But many are better. Can vim yank a column out of a table? =) Dec 4, 2018 at 20:17


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