vi is an interactive text editor included with traditional UNIX systems. It is the de facto
(and de jure
, by POSIX) standard editor for such systems.
Some people love it, and some people hate it. and some people
like being stuck in a mode...
remarks on ViSucks
For various reasons (e.g. AsimovAndTheCritic
) there might not be any one "correct" pronunciation of vi
The "Vy" pronunciation gets reinvented constantly by folks outside the oral tradition. Some might comment that this is a salient point about what you name your software.
pronunciation, for what it's worth, as pronounced by ViEditor
, and everyone else at Berkeley, was "VEE EYE". I can personally attest to this, as I peered over his shoulder, kibitzed, and beta-tested his editors from the beginning (when he was fiddling with variants of ed
) until he gave up on ViEditor
development circa 1979. -- DougMerritt
- Having started using vi at Bell Labs in 1980, I can assure you that it was always pronounced "vee eye". -- AnonymousDonor
I double-checked, and actually the really old BSD documentation explicitly gives VEE EYE as the official pronunciation, it's not just oral tradition (although doubtless certain later documentation dropped that tidbit). -- Doug
Outside the oral tradition, one hears other stories:
In nearly ten years in the industry, working in the UK and US, I don't recall anyone ever pronouncing it "vee-eye". It's always been "vy" (to rhyme with "pie").
- My experience is the opposite: I usually hear "vee-eye" and I rarely hear "vy". (I do occasionally hear "vile".) (vile is a vi clone.)
From the unofficial "Pronunciation Guide for Unix" at e.g. http://www.ss64.com/bashsyntax/pronounce.html
: Some people say "vy", some say "vee-eye" (the vi manual suggests this) and some Roman numerologists say "six".
- Isn't "six" correct only if it was "VI"?
- Actually, the Romans didn't distinguish between uppercase and lowercase. I prefer translating it as the ablative (from/caused-by etc) of vis (force/strength/power) which would usually be translated "with force"
- More specifically, lowercase was not invented at all until the middle ages, so "vi" is essentially identical to "VI" in Latin. Could similarly be translated "with strength".
Many vi clones exist, many of which are briefly documented at http://www.saki.com.au/mirror/vi/clones.php3
. Here are a few:
Mmmmm... One of my fondest memories is after hacking into an old dec at the univ. for the first time. I'm sitting there with a Vi quick-reference card trying to learn Vi fast enough to edit myself out of the super-user log and not get noticed by the administrator. I'm holding down x to delete each character in the line until I suddenly see the "dd" command - AhHa
! I gave up hacking, but never Vi. I tried the same using emacs but without the same motivation it just wasn't meant to be...
See also EmacsVsVi