I believe that, these days, most users are using something very close to Bram Moolenaar's Vim, rather than an editor derived from Bill Joy's vi. Furthermore, most of the operations can be done more efficiently in Vim.

Should we all just assume that Vim is being used, unless otherwise mentioned? Furthermore, should we assume that it's not a minimal build of Vim, unless otherwise mentioned?

3 Answers 3


If the user does not specify, I think it is reasonable to assume they are using core, official Vim. Askers should be encouraged to specify, especially if the question is version specific (e.g. build/install questions, plugin compatibility questions, etc).

In general, I would expect the majority of questions to be about Vim, not vi, so questions about vi should be tagged vi.

  • 1
    See meta.vi.stackexchange.com/questions/1/…; there is no vi. Also, you can use the [tag:vi] syntax to make a nicely linked and formatted tag in your post. (Although, I guess you probably know that.)
    – derobert
    Commented Feb 3, 2015 at 22:56
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    Would this create a mess if someday a fork such as Neovim achieves critical mass? Commented Feb 4, 2015 at 0:18
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    @200_success very likely it would, but it's a what-if. The reason why Vim is the default is that otherwise we have a mess now.
    – yo'
    Commented Feb 4, 2015 at 0:29

You should assume they're using a vi-family editor, since that's what's on-topic for the site. If the specific editor - or sub-family - matters, then ask them to clarify which editor they're using!

We've now disallowed both the vi and vim tags to encourage folks to provide more specific details in their questions. But it's up to all of you, especially those of you writing answers, to ensure this is done consistently - if it becomes impossible to determine which questions - or answers - apply to specific editors, then this will only lead to frustration.


The person asking the question ("OP") should specify, using both tags and the body of his/her question, which vi-variant OP is using. If OP fails to, and it matters, leave a comment asking OP to clarify.

I think we can safely assume it's not a minimal build in the case of vim as those are only really intended for install or rescue discs, or other cases when disk space and/or minimal dependencies is an premium. The minimal builds are much less useful, so probably aren't used beyond that. OP can probably be trusted to tell us when forced to use a minimal build, or will alternatively be happy to find out how much nicer his/her editor gets when installing the full version.

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