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I'm confused, does vim come in different types like a GUI IDE or one that works in a command line (and terminal server)?

Is vim only used for editing text files, or can it be used to automate other tasks also?

On a Mac, what vim versions are there, and are they 100% compatible with vim for Ubuntu Linux?

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migrated from Mar 19 '11 at 3:26

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What do you mean by compatible? has exactly the same features? Not even two point-release versions of MacVim will always be 100% identical in features. Of course, you can rely on the same core (simple)commands in any VI variant. But what exactly do you expect out of 100% compatible? Frozen for all time? – Warren P Mar 19 '11 at 16:00

Vim can be built to run in GUI environments and text-based terminals/consoles. It is fairly widely ported (i.e. it can be compiled and run on many platforms).

The website provides links to download both the source code and pre-compiled versions that support text and/or GUI modes on many of the supported platforms.

Vim can be used to automate certain tasks. Since it is primarily a text editor, tasks that consist of mostly making changes to text files are the most natural fit. It has its own scripting language.

Vim can also embed one or more other general purpose languages (Lua, Perl, Python, Ruby, and Tcl) for use in “scripting” Vim. I suppose you could accomplish just about any automation task from inside Vim by using one of these languages as a bridge to a more general purpose automation system (COM/WMI on Windows, AppleScript on Mac OS X, shells and command-line tools on Unix-ish systems), but such use is probably not very common.

Mac OS X comes with a text-based version of Vim (/usr/bin/vim) that can be used in Terminal windows.

There are also two up-to-date GUI versions available: the Cocoa-based MacVim on and the Carbon-based MacOSXVim on
The older site is apparently abandoned; it only has old versions (circa 2007).

In general, Vim works the same way on each platform it supports. However, Vim has many optional features that can only be enabled when it is compiled, so exact compatibility between two “builds” (e.g. for two different platforms) will depend on the features that were enabled for each build.

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1) Background on VIM vim is a text editor - it stands for VI Improved. Initially it was released for Amiga but it was embraced in the Unix and Linux environment. It comes as text-only and GUI as well.

Url for your reference: :

2) Where to download vim

It has support on numerous platforms and the installers will install both a console and windows basaed

3) Vim can be ussesd for editing text and automation of other tasks?

vim as mentioned is an editor. automation of tasks as via bash file, i don't think vim is the best tool here. sed will be the one

4) mac vim

Compatibility w.r.t to ubuntu : features wise it is quite close but it quite a good job done. But nothing beats the original vim!

Hope that helps to clear your doubts!


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There are multiple breeds of VIM some are console some are graphical.

For mac check out Mac Vim. Vim is a text editor, but it is also an interface that supports macros which could allow for automatically doing stuff to a file, but not really designed for automating "tasks." Unless tasks means changing things within a file, or generating text.

As for compatibility, the commands you use within vim are cross platform.

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