I just released version 0.5.0 of VsVim: a vim emulation editor extension for Visual Studio 2010 Beta1 written in F#. This is a hobby project I’ve been working on for awhile now. I expect to continue updating this release as time goes on as I use it on a daily basis and I’m interested in getting back feedback from users on it.

Link: http://visualstudiogallery.msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/59ca71b3-a4a3-46ca-8fe1-0e90e3f79329

Here’s a quick break down on the state of this project

Caveats and Expectations

This extension is being released by me, not by Microsoft. As such the support level for this extension is equivalent to the amount of free time I have to put into it.

Quality Level

I would classify this as a Beta style release. I use this extension every day and I have a very large test bed to verify functionality. There are still several known bugs (detailed below) and little quirks I’m working on. But they are mostly minor issues

What’s Implemented

At this point the engine has an Insert, Normal and Command mode.

  • Insert Mode

    • Basic insertion layer which allows for typing. No special insert mode commands are implemented
  • Normal Mode.

    • Movement Commands: h,j,k,l,w,b,$,^,n,*,#
    • Edit Commands: x,X,d,p,P,A,u,<,>,o
    • Incremental Search
  • Command Mode

    • :e

    • Jump to line

    • Beginning / end of line

**Deviations **

The biggest deviation I made from a traditional VIM engine is that I am using .Net regular expressions instead of VIM style regular expressions. This allowed me to focus on getting a lot of features written vs. spending time building a regular expression engine. Getting this working will be a focus of a later release.

Another issue is the cursor. As flexible as the new editor is, one part that is very tricky is changing the appearance of the cursor. So making a block style cursor for normal mode was not done for this release. Instead I simply color the cursor red for normal mode and black for insert mode. This will be fixed in a later release.


Below is the list of known issues for the extension. I’ve noted all bugs for which I cannot get a steady repro. If you can find one I would appreciate you emailing the steps to me.

  • Cursor appearance in normal mode is not a block cursor but instead a red cursor

  • Need Repro: Using ‘o’ in normal mode can cause the line ending to switch from \r\n to \r or \n.
  • Both ‘#’ and ‘*’ match partial words instead of full words

  • Register list is limited to standard a-z alphabet

What’s next?

Thus far I’ve been working on features which don’t conflict with existing Visual Studio key bindings. The next big release will be focusing on the infrastructure needed to integrate these commands smoothly into the core Vim engine and Visual Studio itself. This will allow me to expand the number of implemented features a great deal.

Where’s the source?

Should be released soon. Right now I’m working out where I should host this project long term. Preferably a place where users can file bugs and leave feedback.

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