Hotel Vim 🎝 (As sung by a million strong chorus of software developers)

3 minute read Published:

Venerable old Vim has been with us since its creation by Bram Moolenaar in 1991. It’s light, it’s terse, it has a learning curve like the “Cliffs of Insanity”, and yet it’s still one of the most popular text editors in the world.

Here was my take on Vim, as compared to an adult beverage:

One manifestation of Vim’s initially vertical learning curve is the fact that the first time you use it, you can’t figure out how to exit the editor! This fact, coupled with the editor’s ununsual ubiquity, has contributed to making How do I exit the Vim editor? one of the most popular questions on Stack Overflow. Recently, the question surpassed the milestone of a million views, and inspired David Robinson to mark the occasion with the post, Stack Overflow: Helping One Million Developers Exit Vim.

I felt the occasion called for additional fanfare, so without further adieu, as a tribute to the Vim crowd, I present this original parody, Hotel Vim:

Hotel Vim

** Hotel Vim **
 or: Hotel Colon q. Bang

on a dark linux bash prompt,
 new boss in my hair
hot coffee and hardware,
 stale conditioned air
ls listing the files,
 i cat configs that ain't right
my head so heavy and my sight so dim
i'd have to work through the night

there she sat in the bin dir
i heard the terminal bell
and i was thinking to myself
'just a quick tweak and all will be well'
then she lit up the keyboard
 and showed me the way
three letters in the dark of night
i thought i heard vim say

welcome to the hotel :q!
what a focused place
  (such a spacious place)
what a maker's space.
buffers abound at the hotel :q!
in any kind of gear (any kind of gear)
 you can find vim here

her modes are insert and normal,
 she got a visual trend
she got a lot of frantic, fledgling fans,
 that she calls friends
how they mash in frustration,
 sweet intern sweat
some mash the escape key, some mash ctrl-c

so i call up stack o'flow
'how do i exit vim?'
it said,
 'we get that question here since
  nineteen-ninety-one'
and still new coders are howling
 from far away,
hit you up in the middle of a break
just to hear vim say

welcome to the hotel :q!
what a focused place
  (such a spacious place)
what a maker's space.
they rub 'Esc' blank at the hotel :q!
what a /wonderland/ (what an &),
 bring your Ex commands

fingers on the home row
not a mouse in sight
and she said,
 'we are all vim\'s prisoner\'s here,
  of our own device'
and from the master branches
they `i` changes to the hash
they Zed-Zed with their cherry reds
and the buffer fades to bash

last thing i remember, i was
yearning to grok more
i had to get the sourcecode back
 to place i was before
'relax' said the vim tuts
vim is programmed to receive
you :q any time you like
but you won't want to leave!
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Hotel Vim • by Ty Walls (2017), to the tune of Hotel California (Eagles, 1977) • dedicated to Bram Moolenaar and the millions of developers who wandered the halls of Vim searching for the exit, but found a fun and efficient home instead.