Vim 8.2 comes with support for pop-up windows, text properties and more

Vim

Vim is a cross-platform text editor extremely customizable inspired by vi software, a popular text editor on UNIX systems. The main feature both Vim and Vi consists in that they have different modes between which to alternate to perform certain operations, which differentiates them from most common editors, which have only one mode in which commands are entered using key combinations or graphical interfaces.

Vim has excellent documentation in text format, it is very broad and easy to understand. The user can access it by searching the description of various functionalities that can solve their problem. By highlighting the Vim help syntax, keywords are highlighted.

Of the main characteristics that can be highlighted from Vim:

  • Text autocompletion
  • Tab Browsing
  • Syntax highlighting dependent on the programming language or tag language used
  • Comprehension of more than 200 different syntax
  • Scripting language for programming extensions
  • Completion of commands, words and file names
  • File compression and decompression, which makes it possible to edit compressed files
  • Recognition of file formats and conversion between them.
  • Macro recording and playback
  • Automatic and manual code folding
  • Optional graphical interface
  • Highly configurable and customizable

The latest major version of Vim (version 8.0) was released over three years ago, with support for asynchronous functionality.

And now the new version of Vim 8.2 has just been released, which is already available.

Main new features of Vim 8.2

In this minor version, many bugs have been fixed, documentation has been updated, test coverage has been improved, etc. But there are also some cool new features.

During the VimConf 2018 conference, developers extensions they expressed what they wanted from Vim. If it was a very long list of requested features that was provided to the developer of the text editor.

But of all of them, two features stood out from the crowd: pop-up windows and text properties. After more than a year of development, these features are now available in Vim.

The main new feature of Vim 8.2 is pop-up support. They can be used to display text on other windows and they are very flexible: they can be placed in relation to the text, or in an absolute position or right in the middle of the screen. The size can be fixed or can be adjusted to fit the text.

A "zindex" value specifies which popup should be on top of the others. The popup window can also react to user input.

This required major development efforts. While the existing window support could be used, the pop-ups are different enough to require a lot of extra logic, especially to update the screen efficiently and make it easier for extension developers to use.

For example, I don't know you need to tell Vim where it should show a popup. Simply provide a reference point and the text to display and Vim will determine the size and location where the window is most suitable.

Along with it text properties, Which are the second feature that was requested during the conference, it comes as an important feature in this version of Vim 8.2, because with it they can be used for something as simple as highlighting a piece of text or something as complicated as using a parser External (pairs) to locate syntax elements and highlight them asynchronously. This can be used in place of pattern-based syntax highlighting.

Other notable new features are also coming to Vim 8.2. These include a const command to declare a variable that cannot change function chaining for method calls, installer enhancements for Windows, and many more.

How to install Vim 8.2 on Ubuntu and derivatives?

For those interested in installing this new version, They will be able to do it by executing any of the following commands according to their system.

Ubuntu and derivatives

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:jonathonf/vim

sudo apt-get update

sudo apt install vim

Arch Linux and derivatives

sudo pacman -S vim

Flatpak

flatpak install flathub org.vim.Vim

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