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Remembering Bram Moolenaar: Vim Creator’s Legacy

Rohan Timalsina

September 1, 2023 - TuxCare expert team

On August 3, 2023, Vim’s creator, Bram Moolenaar, passed away at the age of 62. A family member broke the news, saying that Bram died due to a medical condition that had progressively worsened over the previous few weeks.

Bram began working on Vim in 1988 with the aim to improve the vi text editor, which was originally developed for Unix. Due to Bram’s hard efforts to maintain and improve Vim in the 1990s, even though other Vim clones appeared, Vim managed to keep its uniqueness and popularity. It has emerged as a better alternative to vi editor and become one of the most used text editors by programmers.

Bram continually introduced new features and enhancements that kept Vim up-to-date in the ever-evolving tech world, demonstrating his passion for the program in every release. The open-source editor, Vim, developed over time to contain a variety of features, including syntax highlighting, spell checking, command history, filename completion, switch case, block mode, etc.

Besides that, the idea of “charityware” was also among the first to be promoted by Bram. In the instance of Vim, users were urged to donate to a charity in order to receive voting privileges for the addition of new features. Vim’s preferred charity for aiding orphans in Uganda is ICCF Holland. The opening text of the editor displays the following message if you launch it without selecting a file:

~ Help poor children in Uganda!
~ type :help iccf<enter> for information</enter>

A-A-P, a system for distributed software development, Zimbu, and his most recent position at Google, where he worked on updating the Merchant Center, were among his other projects. You can learn more about his work by visiting his website if you’re interested to find out more.

The tech community has expressed its sorrow and gratitude in response to the news of Moolenaar’s death. Users, programmers, and developers worldwide have thanked him on social media for his contributions. Bram Moolenaar passed away, but his impact will definitely live on in the Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) community. His idea of empowering people via technology will continue to be at the core of the Vim user community as it grows and thrives.


The sources for this article include a story from DebugPointNews.

Remembering Bram Moolenaar: Vim Creator's Legacy
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Remembering Bram Moolenaar: Vim Creator's Legacy
The open-source community mourns the passing of Bram Moolenaar, creator of the Vim text editor. Explore his legacy and impact on FOSS.
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