Digg, reddit, vi/vim for Word and Outlook, and Happy New Year!

Happy New Year everyone!

Here is my bandwidth graph for 2007 so far:

bandwidth graph

Yes, I got dugg and reddit-ed during the weekend. The first hump is reddit, the large spike afterwards is digg. The URL was from this blog, back in June’05:

The story of why I got started with vi/vim editing

I submitted it after seeing a post about “Bill Joy’s greatest gift to mankind: the vi editor” on the front page of programming.reddit.com. I didn’t expect so much popularity, but it seemed to resonate with the audience.

The comments both in reddit and in digg were very numerous and fun to read:



Having had about 20,000 people visit my blog during the weekend is always nice. It almost, but not quite, prevented me from concentrating on my current work:

ViEmu for Word screenshot

Yes, ViEmu for Word is already working. Yes, you can use Japanese text in ex commands and move around with a block cursor in proportional text and everything else… I expect to have a first alpha version for interested users ready during this week, hopefully becoming beta next week (feature-complete). After that, I’ll release as soon as possible. Getting this to work has been a *huge* pain, but hopefully it will be interesting to some users.

Ah, and it also works great in Outlook message windows! I’ll post another screenshot in a few days.

PS: Andrey released his latest product, BlackberrySpamFilter. Guess what it does? I think this will be a very successful product, and I wish him the best luck!

13 Responses to “Digg, reddit, vi/vim for Word and Outlook, and Happy New Year!”

  1. Andrey Butov Says:

    The following are all from a programming point of view: 🙂

    vi for Visual Studio is great!

    vi for Word is exceptional work!

    vi for Word with international language support…well — that just makes me want to take out my hex editor and take a peek inside. 🙂

    – Cheers and Congratulations!

  2. J Says:

    Thanks Andrey. Int’l support just came for free (the VS version also supports it, btw) 🙂 But I just wanted to show it off. I’ve been learning a bit of Japanese lately too, so I included it in the tests for ViEmu/Word. And I do have quite a few Japanese customers!

    And from a programming point of view, hooking into Word & Outlook has been just like nothing I’ve done before. I could write for hours on the stupid problems I’ve had to overcome!

    I don’t know how well ViEmu for Word and Outlook can sell, but I just had to do it before going back to the editor. It will be my last vi emulator in a while, though, as you know very well, developing plugins is a *huge* PITA!

    Thanks for the compliments in any case, and best wishes!

  3. Dale Says:


    I’m a long time unashamed vi/vim/gvim hack. Years ago I looked for ways to use vi inside of MS Studio, and came up empty. I never even tried to see if there was anything for Word or Outlook — I just couldn’t handle the disappointment. And now you tell me that soon there will be an answer! I can’t wait. What do I have to do to be part of the beta?

    Thanks for doing this — its a great service. I suspect we’ll get a few of the VI licenses for Vis Studio at my office as well.


  4. J Says:

    Hi Dale,

    Thanks for your kind comment. Yes, ViEmu for Visual Studio and SQL Express works great, and the Word/Outlook situation will be fixed during this month. I will get in touch with you for the beta, no problem at all.

    Best regards,


  5. Andrew Koyfman Says:

    There is one version of Vi for Word/Outlook that works out there. http://dready.org/blog/2005/02/24/viword-061/

    Plenty of fun issues to deal with though, at least if you are using VB programming for word. I tried out a while back, but for now decided to stick with a regular editor in the end. It turned out that I’ve been using vi-like thinking much less when writing documents/emails compared to writing code. Plus, doing tables and special formatting was a real pain.

    Anyway, I’d love to see the version you put together. I may go back to it.


  6. J Says:

    Andrew, thanks, I am aware of the existing viWord. In my understanding, even if I haven’t actually tried viWord, ViEmu/Word plays in a completely different league. viWord is a basic set of macros for the most basic tasks – it supports a very small subset of vi keybindings. ViEmu/Word+Outlook is a full blown emulator, with ex command line support (:g, :s, etc…), global and local marks, macros, mappings, the full input model (almost all commands are there), vi/vim options, vim’s visual mode, and a myriad other things.

    Actually, the fact that it exists makes me thing that there are some people out there interested in this.

  7. J Says:

    And, btw, ViEmu/Word is developed in C++. The actual underlying vi/vim emulation core is common with the one in Visual Studio and SQL Server, and also in my text-editor-in-development kodumi. I have implemented a fully retargetable vi/vim emulation core based in C++ templates, so that part is the same. The integration code is a pretty tough job to get working, though.

    I’m using Word’s object model though to access the buffer and many other things (it’s a huge pain, as it is not designed to do this kind of thing).

  8. David Burch Says:

    I’m interested in viEmu/Word and I’d like to be a Beta tester.

  9. J Says:

    David, thanks for your interest. I’ll get back in touch with you as things evolve. I will be starting alpha testing first with one or two external people, and beta afterwards (probably next week).

  10. Chip Says:

    I already use and adore your VS product and have evangelized it to every vi geek I know at Microsoft (more than you’d think there would be!). Vi for Word and, more to the point Outlook, is beyond exciting for me. I’d gladly pay $dearly for the privilege, and I would love to get in on the Alpha/Beta as well.

    Thanks for your outstanding work! When I shifted gears to come work at Microsoft one of the things I missed the most in my daily grinds was vi, and having it slowly brought back to my life is just fantastic!

  11. J Says:

    Chip, thanks a lot for the kind comment. I will get in touch with you by email. ViEmu/Word+Outlook is already in beta 2 and working very well. I only need to ensure Outlook 2007 compatibility, but I may delay the release a bit to implement one or two Word integration improvements (actually, Word’s autocorrection while typing is now disabled, and users are missing some of its benefits).

  12. snt Says:

    J. Thank you for the support which is a Japanese version before. I am looking forward to kodumi and ViEmu/Word very much.
    I will throw away emacs key binding utility when viemu/word supports IME mode.

  13. Lee Says:

    I’m very excited to see this! I’m anxious to try it out…I’ll be watching your webpage closely!

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