libvim is a fork of Vim, with the goal of providing a minimal C-based API, modelling Vim modal editing. It does not include any user interface at all (not even a terminal UI), and is primarily responsible for acting as a fast buffer manipulation engine, faithful to Vim keystrokes. It's still a work-in-progress and there is lots of work left to stabilize.
libvim is primarily intended for Onivim 2. After implementing several iterations of 'UI Vims' between v1, v2, and other projects, the abstraction I wished to have was a sort of a pure functional Vim, completely decoupled from terminal UI - where 'vim' is a function of
(editor state, input) => (new editor state). As Onivim 2 completely handles the rendering layer, this Vim-modelled-as-a-pure-function could focus on just buffer manipulation.
To that end,
libvim exposes a simple C API for working with Vim, and supports listening to buffer changes, messages, etc.
It is responsible for:
- Managing and manipulating buffers
- Buffer manipulation in response to input
- Parsing and sourcing VimL
- Handling key remaps
It is NOT responsible for:
- Any sort of UI rendering (terminal, etc)
- Mouse support
- Syntax Highlighting
- Spell Checking
- Terminal Support
- Input methods (IME)
All of these are intended to be handled by the consumer of the library - leaving
libvim to be focused on the job of fast buffer manipulation.
libvim builds cross-platform (since Onivim 2 requires it!), as well as for WebAssembly - we'd like to port our v1 tutorials to a browser-based experience.
There are other interesting applications of such an 'abstracted Vim':
- WebAssembly builds could be useful for implementing Vim modes in browsers / websites
- Native builds could be useful for applications that want Vim-native bindings - it'd be a nice foundation for implementing
readline, for example.
The heart of the API is
vimInput which takes a single key, and is synchronously processed by the state machine. 'Side-effects' like buffer updates, messages, etc can be subscribed to via callbacks like
This library is in active development and we currently make no guarantees about backwards compatibility. Use the API at your own risk.
Install WSL (Windows Subsystem for Linux), and from there, do:
sudo apt install gcc-mingw-w64-x86-64 cd src build/build-windows.sh
Linux or Mac OS
cd src build/build-posix.sh
libvim is interesting to you, and you'd like to support development, consider the following:
If you would like to help making
libvim better, see the CONTRIBUTING.md file.
Some places for contribution:
- Help us add test cases
- Help us remove code or features that aren't required for
- Help us port patches from Vim
libvim code is licensed under the MIT License.
It also depends on third-party code, notably Vim, but also others - see ThirdPartyLicenses.txt for license details.