To Bram

Bram Moolenaar is the reason I'm using Vim today. And not just because he built it.

Bram Moolenaar is the reason I'm using Vim today. And not just because he built it.

I remember clearly when I decided to make Vim my daily editor. It was early summer of 2010, and I was finishing my first year of university. On that particular day, I was babysitting my seven-year-old cousin1, and while he was preoccupied, I watched a Google Tech Talk2 by Bram Moolenaar, the maintainer and benevolent dictator for life of Vim3.

I'd started programming a few years earlier, so I was already aware for Vi & Vim (I knew how to exit, at least). But as Bram talked through 7 habits for highly effective text editing, I decided to give this extraordinarily different editor a shot.

Just over 13 years later, I'm still using it daily.

Of course, over the years, I've tried other editors as well. For a short time, I tried Sublime Text. When GitHub released Atom, I tried that as well. I used IntelliJ IDEA (with the Vim extension) for probably a year. I've made various attempts to use VS Code (both with and without the Vim extension) over the years as well. I think I even tried TextMate 2 at one point.

In every instance, I've always returned to Vim (or, Neovim now). Its speed, flexibility, and portability are unmatched, at least for me.

I was sad to see the news of Bram's passing. My condolences go out to his family, who no doubt feel this loss much more than those of us who were simply fans of an amazing developer and beneficiaries of his work.

To leave Vim as a legacy (at least, a legacy to those of us who didn't know him personally) is no small thing. From memes and rants to book and tutorials, I can't think of another piece of software that more people feel so strongly about.

  1. Shoutout to Joseph, he's now half-way through a CS degree himself. ↩︎

  2. If memory serves, I watched this talk on Google Video originally. ↩︎

  3. is one of the very few websites I know of that still uses <table> for layout. Knowing that little piece of web history still lives on somewhere is very pleasing. ↩︎