Vai editor. A text based IDE similar to vim, in python.
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We love vim, but we want more. We want a terminal-based IDE that looks like vim, handles like vim, but has all those nice features of Eclipse and Sublime, is integrated with git, and is fully coded in python.

For more information about the Rationale behind the project, the development methodology and the planned features see the RATIONALE document.

Implemented Features

  • General vim look and feel.
  • Syntax highlighting for python. Partial support for other languages.
  • Highlighting of all occurrences of the identifier currently under the cursor.
  • Linting for python 3 with pyflakes
  • Shows linting results on the sidebar. Linting messages popup inline.
  • Backward and forward search (no regexp yet)
  • Tab completion for editor and command bar (while accessing files)
  • Undo/Redo
  • Indentation levels
  • Multiple buffers
  • Copying and pasting
  • Multiple lines selection
  • Minimal configuration of colors
  • Cursor position restored between runs.
  • Autoindent
  • Syntax color plugins
  • :command plugins

See the current vim keys compatibility list in the FEATURES document.

Note: vai is currently focused mostly on Python editing. Future additions will handle other languages.


Vai 1.6/1.7

Vai 1.4/1.5

Vai 1.2/1.3


You can get the latest version of vai from pypi, either manually or via pip

pip3.4 install vai

Important Note: you need python 3.4. Python 3.3 will not work.

See the Release Notes for details about the release changes.


If you want to contribute to Vai, a good place to start is to read the Design document.

If you want to develop plugins, the document WritingPlugins is what you are looking for. Keep into account that the API is evolving, and at the moment, rather limited.

Main development: - Stefano Borini

Additional contributions: - Carl George (cgtx)