This is a sponsor request for CR 6422494 - VIM should be in WOS and
installed as /usr/bin/vim.

See below for more background.

Eric Boutilier


From: Eric Boutilier <>
Date: Wed, 24 May 2006 12:37:14 -0500 (CDT)
To: Keith M Wesolowski <keith.wesolowski at>, tools-discuss at, sfwnv-discuss at
Subject: Re: What about VIM (vi Improved?)

On Mon, 8 May 2006, Keith M Wesolowski wrote:
> On Mon, May 08, 2006 at 02:06:54PM +0300, Cyril Plisko wrote:
>> On 5/8/06, Brian Nitz <Brian.Nitz at> wrote:
>>> No, it looks like I missed the obvious.  Does anyone know if there is a
>>> reason why we can't do this?
>>> Cyril, do you want to reopen RFE 6422494 with this proposal or should I?
>> Brian, please do so !
> Thanks.  BTW, although the evaluation field isn't shown ($...@#$%!
> b.o.o!), this is what I put there when closing the RFE:
> ---
> While adding VIM to Solaris is a fine idea, replacing /usr/bin/vi with
> it is not.  Also, since VIM is not GNU software, it does not belong
> in /usr/gnu.  Please do re-open this bug with a synopsis and
> description that more accurately reflect the true scope of the RFE:
> you want VIM in the WOS.  This absolutely is a worthwhile goal.
> If the current synopsis is an accurate reflection of the RFE,
> there is no reasonable way this RFE can be implemented: vim is
> incompatible with vi, and has other characteristics (such as
> a huge memory footprint relative to vi) that may make it unsuitable
> or undesirable for many current vi users.
> ---
> I want to make it absolutely clear that putting VIM in /usr/bin sounds
> to me like a fine plan.  But I'll be very interested to hear how you
> plan to deliver VIM's 'view' binary, since its name conflicts with
> that of the existing program.

I'm going to start drafting a proposal for this. (Bug ID 6422494)

Cyril had a good question that nobody replied to: Is it feasible to
deliver only part of the vim package?

A typical vim build installs the following in /usr/bin:

- 3 regular files:  vim, vimtutor, and xxd[1]

- 11 files sym-linked to vim: evim, ex, gview, gvim, gvimdiff, rgview,
    rgvim, rview, rvim, view, vimdiff. Two of these -- view and ex --
    collide with existing files.

Here are some possibilities that I can think of:

1. Include vim (and its supporting files), but omit everything else (the
     11 sym-links, xxd, and vimtutor).

2. Include vim, vimtutor, and the 11 sym-links, but omit
     ex and view.

3. Include everything, renaming view and ex (viewm/exm?

4. Other...?

If we went by the usage patterns of a lot of vim users (me included),
option #1 seems to make a lot of sense. But my take is that #3 is best --
mostly because implementations of the vim package are already in
widespread use on other popular platforms, and it'd be best to be as
compatible as possible with those.


[1]: xxd is a hex dumper/undumper

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