"Note that this is an article explicitly for beginners new to
Vim. If you've been using Vim for a while, all of this should look
entirely familiar--and you might wonder why some topics aren't
covered. Patience. We'll get to everything in due time, but there's
a lot to cover!
"What's Vim, and Why Do I Want It?
"Vim is the editor of choice for many developers and power
users. It's a "modal" text editor based on the vi editor written by
Bill Joy in the 1970s for a version of UNIX. It inherits the key
bindings of vi, but also adds a great deal of functionality and
extensibility that are missing from the original vi.
"What the heck do we mean by modal? When you're using most word
processors and text editors, the alphanumeric keys (i.e., a through
z, 1 through 9) are only used to input those characters unless
they're modified by a control key. In Vim, the mode that the editor
is in determines whether the alphanumeric keys will input those
characters or move the cursor through the document."