vile stands for "vi Like Emacs." It started out as a copy of Version 3.9 of MicroEMACS that was modified to have the "finger feel" of vi . There are currently three maintainers: Paul Fox, Tom Dickey, and Kevin Buettner. The current version is 8.0; it is essentially the same as 7.4, but with bug fixes. This chapter was written using vile .
Paul Fox describes the early vile history this way:
Tom Dickey started working on vile in December of 1992, initially just contributing patches, and later doing more significant features and extensions, such as line numbering, name completion, and animating the buffer list window. Tom states that "Integrating features together is more important to my design goals than implementing a large number of features."
In February of 1994, Kevin Buettner started working on vile . Initially, he supplied bug fixes for the X11 version, xvile , and then improvements, such as scrollbars. This evolved into support for the Motif, OpenLook, and Athena widget sets. Because, surprisingly, the Athena widgets were not "universally available in a bugfree form," he wrote a version that used the raw Xt toolkit. This version ended up providing superior functionality to the Athena version. Kevin also contributed the initial support in vile for GNU Autoconf.
Currently, vile maintenance is done "by committee," with Tom Dickey being the primary maintainer. Paul manages the mailing lists.
For the near term, future work will focus on improving the Perl integration, and enhancing the major mode concept (discussed below).