Vim Editor Updated With Modern Language Support

The latest edition of the widely used Vim text editor now supports both the Lua programming language as well as the latest versions of Python and Perl.

Bram Moolenaar, the developer behind Vim, has released version 7.3 of the editor, two years after version 7.2 was released.

Version 7.3 now understands both the Lua programming language and Python version 3.0, meaning it can do syntax highlighting and indenting to make the source code written in these languages more easily understandable by users.

Lua is a lightweight scripting language, one frequently used for embedded applications and games, according to its maintainers. Version 3.0 of Python, released in 2008, is a major, non-backward compatible update to that language.

Although not announced by Moolenaar, Vim 7.3 also seems to support, at least to a limited extent, the beta version of Perl 6, users of the Perl programming language have found. New enhancements have also been added to the software's support of Perl version 5.10.

Users of VIM 7.3 can now also encrypt and decrypt data with the Blowfish cipher, as well as conceal unwieldy lengths of text. The software also now features the ability to undo and redo changes after the user exits and then relaunches the program.

Vim is a modernized version of the vi editor, created by Bill Joy in 1976 for the Unix Berkeley Software Distribution (BSD). Pretty much all Linux distributions now include Vim, and it remains one of the primary editors used by most Unix system administrators -- the other being Richard Stallman's Emacs -- for editing scripts and other text documents.

Because of its multiple editing modes and elaborate series of key-stroke commands, Vim has been both praised for its efficiency and criticized for being difficult to learn.

Joab Jackson covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Joab on Twitter at @Joab_Jackson. Joab's e-mail address is Joab_Jackson@idg.com

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