Venerable old Vim has been with us since its creation by Bram Moolenaar in 1991. It’s light, it’s terse, it has a learning curve like the “Cliffs of Insanity”, and yet it’s still one of the most popular text editors in the world.
Here was my take on Vim, as compared to an adult beverage:
It’s like being gifted a 50-year-old bottle of scotch.
Now if you could just figure out how to open it…
— Ty Walls (@tygertec) May 22, 2017
One manifestation of Vim’s initially vertical learning curve is the fact that the first time you use it, you can’t figure out how to exit the editor! This fact, coupled with the editor’s ununsual ubiquity, has contributed to making How do I exit the Vim editor? one of the most popular questions on Stack Overflow. Recently, the question surpassed the milestone of a million views, and inspired David Robinson to mark the occasion with the post, Stack Overflow: Helping One Million Developers Exit Vim.
I felt the occasion called for additional fanfare, so without further adieu, as a tribute to the Vim crowd, I present this original parody, Hotel Vim:
** Hotel Vim ** or: Hotel Colon q. Bang on a dark linux bash prompt, new boss in my hair hot coffee and hardware, stale conditioned air ls listing the files, i cat configs that ain't right my head so heavy and my sight so dim i'd have to work through the night there she sat in the bin dir i heard the terminal bell and i was thinking to myself 'just a quick tweak and all will be well' then she lit up the keyboard and showed me the way three letters in the dark of night i thought i heard vim say welcome to the hotel :q! what a focused place (such a spacious place) what a maker's space. buffers abound at the hotel :q! in any kind of gear (any kind of gear) you can find vim here her modes are insert and normal, she got a visual trend she got a lot of frantic, fledgling fans, that she calls friends how they mash in frustration, sweet intern sweat some mash the escape key, some mash ctrl-c so i call up stack o'flow 'how do i exit vim?' it said, 'we get that question here since nineteen-ninety-one' and still new coders are howling from far away, hit you up in the middle of a break just to hear vim say welcome to the hotel :q! what a focused place (such a spacious place) what a maker's space. they rub 'Esc' blank at the hotel :q! what a /wonderland/ (what an &), bring your Ex commands fingers on the home row not a mouse in sight and she said, 'we are all vim\'s prisoner\'s here, of our own device' and from the master branches they `i` changes to the hash they Zed-Zed with their cherry reds and the buffer fades to bash last thing i remember, i was yearning to grok more i had to get the sourcecode back to place i was before 'relax' said the vim tuts vim is programmed to receive you :q any time you like but you won't want to leave! -----------------------------------------------
• by Ty Walls (2017), to the tune of Hotel California (Eagles, 1977)
• dedicated to Bram Moolenaar and the millions of developers who wandered the halls of Vim searching for the exit, but found a fun and efficient home instead.