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A vi-like editor based on Plan 9's structural regular expressions
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doc view: clean up and add documentation Jun 15, 2017
lua vis-lua: add file type detection for executable shell scripts Oct 7, 2018
man vis: add loadmethod option May 30, 2018
test @ 46a2b99 test: update May 30, 2018
.appveyor.yml appveyor: let Cygwin handle the environment variable Feb 18, 2017
.gitignore build: allow to build self-contained executable May 31, 2017
.travis.yml build: try to fix travis macOS build Feb 9, 2019
GNUmakefile build: remove make standalone leftovers May 31, 2017
LICENSE Update year numbers in copyright information Apr 15, 2018
Makefile build: add git based version information back Mar 25, 2018 Improve comma usage and hyphenation in intro Dec 14, 2018
array.h array: add helper functions for LIFO usage Jul 10, 2017
buffer.h buffer: convert comments to doxygen format May 3, 2017
libutf.c vis: cleanup keyboard handling implementation Oct 5, 2015
libutf.h vis: introduce vis_keys_utf8 Feb 10, 2017
map.c map: remove unused function Feb 2, 2017
sam.c vis: add loadmethod option May 30, 2018
sam.h sam: add support for count specifier to `g` and `y` commands Apr 12, 2017
text-motions.h Fix "parenthese" in identifiers Apr 8, 2018
text-objects.c Fix a typo in identifiers Mar 5, 2018
text-objects.h Fix a typo in identifiers Mar 5, 2018
text-regex.c vis: cleanup regex header inclusion Jan 16, 2017
text-regex.h text-regex: add regex backend based on libtre Jan 19, 2017
text.h text: allow to specify how the file content should be loaded May 30, 2018
ui-terminal.c ui: make sure $TERM is set Apr 15, 2018
ui-terminal.h Restructure display code Mar 14, 2017
ui.h More theme improvements Jun 10, 2017
util.h Move the #defines within the #include guards May 11, 2017
view.c vis: make sure zb redraws line at the bottom if possible May 16, 2018
vis-clipboard vis-clipboard: fix detection of macOS systems Dec 1, 2016
vis-cmds.c vis: add loadmethod option May 30, 2018
vis-complete vis-complete: Strip the common part Jan 27, 2018
vis-digraph.c vis-digraph: properly initialize local variable Feb 8, 2017
vis-lua.h vis-lua: removed unused function declaration Mar 24, 2017
vis-menu.c vis-menu: check read(2) return value Feb 8, 2017
vis-modes.c vis: use distinct mark to save last selections Jul 14, 2017
vis-motions.c vis: make % motion match quotes and backticks as well May 17, 2018
vis-open vis-open: fix creating new files in selected directory Jan 4, 2018
vis-operators.c vis: implement g~ using tr(1) May 16, 2018
vis-prompt.c vis: keep <C-j> mapped to <Enter> in command line window Jan 26, 2018
vis-registers.c vis: cleanup register related API Jul 11, 2017
vis-single.c vis-single: add missing header include for signal(2) Mar 14, 2018
vis-text-objects.c Fix a typo in identifiers Mar 5, 2018
vis.c vis: add loadmethod option May 30, 2018
vis.h vis: remove v and V in operator pending mode May 16, 2018

Vis a vim-like text editor

Linux Build Status Cygwin Build Status Coverity Scan Build Status codecov Documentation Status #vis-editor on freenode

Vis aims to be a modern, legacy-free, simple yet efficient editor, combining the strengths of both vi(m) and sam.

It extends vi's modal editing with built-in support for multiple cursors/selections and combines it with sam's structural regular expression based command language.

A universal editor, it has decent Unicode support and should cope with arbitrary files, including large, binary or single-line ones.

Efficient syntax highlighting is provided using Parsing Expression Grammars, which can be conveniently expressed using Lua in the form of LPeg.

The editor core is written in a reasonable amount of clean (your mileage may vary), modern and legacy-free C code, enabling it to run in resource-constrained environments. The implementation should be easy to hack on and encourage experimentation. There is also a Lua API for in-process extensions.

Vis strives to be simple and focuses on its core task: efficient text management. Clipboard and digraph handling as well as a fuzzy file open dialog are all provided by independent utilities. There exist plans to use a client/server architecture, delegating window management to your windowing system or favorite terminal multiplexer.

The intention is not to be bug-for-bug compatible with vi(m). Instead,
we aim to provide more powerful editing features based on an elegant design and clean implementation.

vis demo

Build instructions

In order to build vis you will need a C99 compiler, a POSIX.1-2008 compatible environment as well as:

  • libtermkey
  • curses (recommended)
  • Lua >= 5.2 (optional)
  • LPeg >= 0.12 (optional runtime dependency required for syntax highlighting)
  • TRE (optional for more memory efficient regex search)

Assuming these dependencies are met, execute:

$ ./configure && make && sudo make install

By default the configure script will try to auto detect support for Lua. See configure --help for a list of supported options. You can also manually tweak the generated file.

Or simply use one of the distribution provided packages.


End user documentation can be found in the vis(1) manual page and the Wiki. Read the FAQ for common questions. Learn about some differences compared to sam(1) and vim(1), respectively.

C API as well as Lua API documentation is also available.

Non Goals

Some features which will not be implemented:

  • tabs / multiple workspaces / advanced window management
  • file and directory browser
  • support for file archives (tar, zip, ...)
  • support for network protocols (ftp, http, ssh ...)
  • encryption
  • compression
  • GUIs (neither x11, motif, gtk, win32 ...) although the codebase should make it easy to add them
  • VimL
  • right-to-left text
  • ex mode, we have more elegant structural regexp
  • diff mode
  • vimgrep
  • internal spell checker
  • lots of compile time configurable features / #ifdef mess

How to help?

There are plenty of ways to contribute, below are a few ideas:

Checkout the Developer Overview to get started and do not hesitate to ask question in the #vis-editor IRC channel on freenode.

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