With our thanks for his help, we'll let Steve Kirkendall give the history
in his own words:
I started writing elvis
1.0 after an early clone
crashed on me, causing me to lose a few hours' work and totally
destroying my confidence in that program. Also, stevie
stored the edit buffer in RAM which simply wasn't practical in Minix.
So I started writing my own clone, which stored its edit buffer
in a file. And even if my editor crashed, the edited text
could still be retrieved from that file.
2.x is almost completely separate from 1.x.
I wrote this, my second vi
because my first one inherited too many
limitations from the real vi
, and from Minix.
The biggest change
is the support for multiple edit buffers and multiple windows,
neither of which could be retrofitted into 1.x very easily.
I also wanted to shed the line-length limitation, and have online
help written in HTML.
As to the name "elvis," Steve says that at least part
of the reason he chose the name was to see how many people would
ask him why he chose the name![
It is also common for vi
clones to have
the letters "vi"
somewhere in their names.