I lean (to a fault, perhaps) toward broad scoping and inclusiveness. My philosophy (which I have spontaneously developed in the last 30 seconds without putting any serious thought into it) is that vi is not just a(n ancient) editor; it's also a keyboard-based modal user interface. (That is,
vi invented/introduced/popularized all the
ohello<Esc>0~A!<Esc>/emacs<CR>:%s//vi/g nonsense that we've all come to know and love, and this, rather than text editing as such, is
vi's real legacy.)
My intuition on this "philosophy on the legacy of vi" is based on the application of this user interface to non-text-editing contexts, such as window-managers (e.g. in
i3) or web browsers (e.g. using
This is not to say that any and all questions pertaining to a vi-like user interface would necessarily be on-topic. For instance, I can't really think of any questions I would consider on-topic for
i3, since the
vi-like elements are pretty minimal. ("How do I remap the directional keys in
i3", for instance, would definitely not be on-topic, since the
i3 configuration is entirely
So my personal criteria for whether or not a question is on-topic would be:
- If it's about
vi itself, it's on-topic.
- If it's about a
vi clone, i.e. a
vi-like text editor (including all of the ones mentioned above), it's on-topic.
- If it's about an extension for one of the above--e.g. a Vim plugin--it's on-topic.
- If it's about a program (such as
bvi) that is not strictly a text-editor but whose user interface is designed to closely match that of
vi, it's on-topic. (Note that
i3 uses elements of
vi's user interface, but in general its user interface is very different.)
- If the question is about a user-interface that is specifically designed to emulate
vi--e.g., the user interface for
vimium--then it's on topic. This is unfortunately a bit of a mushy criterion. I'm not sure, for instance, whether the question "how does
vimium assign letters when pressing
<Esc>f" would be considered on-topic, since, as far as I can tell, that feature isn't really inspired by anything in
vi. (Though I suppose the question "Is there a feature in vi/vim that corresponds to Vimium's
<Esc>f behavior" would probably be on-topic, since it's asking about
EDIT: Note that my last criterion does NOT imply that any and all questions about programs that include some vi-like UI elements are on topic--only questions about the vi-like UI elements themselves would be on topic.