Bram Moolenaar, creator of open-source editor Vim, dies aged 62

9 Aug 2023

Image: ©

Moolenaar’s open-source text editor Vim was released in 1991 but is still being used and updated to this day.

Bram Moolenaar, the open-source developer who created Vim in the 90s, has died of a medical condition aged 62.

Moolenaar’s family shared the news through a Google Groups post and said he died on 3 August, due to a condition that “progressed quickly over the last few weeks”.

The Dutch developer is the creator of Vim, an advanced text editor that was designed to be an improved version of the Vi editor for Unix users. The open-source editor is designed for various forms of text editing, such as composing email and editing configuration files.

Vim has grown to have various features over the years, such as multilevel undo, syntax highlighting, command line history, online help, spell checking, filename completion, block operations and script language, according to its GitHub page.

Vim was well respected within the open-source community. One user on Twitter described VIM as a “masterpiece, the gleaming precise machining tool from which so much of modernity was crafted”.

The Vim project is still operational to this day. One member of the project, Christian Brabandt, said the project is “shocked and saddened” to hear of Moolenaar’s sudden passing.

“We certainly will miss him, his guidance and his humour,” Brabandt said. “The Vim project wouldn’t exist without his ongoing passion to lead and develop Vim and the community for more than 30 years.

“Our deepest condolences to all his family and may they have enough strength to come through these saddened times. We lost a great guy way too early, who should have had the chance to enjoy and live for at least several more years.”

Brabandt said it was in Moolenaar’s interest that the Vim project continue “even if development now will slow down”.

The Vim Project said Moolenaar was also well known for collecting donations for ICCF Holland, a charity organisation that works to support children in Uganda.

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Leigh Mc Gowran is a journalist with Silicon Republic