Vimperator was the first project from Vimperator labs and initially written by Martin Stubenschrott. Being a Vim-lover, he finally realized that he spent more and more time browsing the Web instead of writing code in his favorite editor. The remedy this situation, he looked into extending his favorite browser Firefox and Vimperator was born.
First coding of Vimperator has started in 2006, with the first public release in 2007. Most development related discussions quickly emerged on our IRC channel #vimperator, where new ideas were born, tested and discussed.
In 2008, Vimperator’s ideas really took off and lots of new contributors started improving Vimperator. Martin also decided to investigate a possible port of Vimperator to other Mozilla applications, like Thunderbird. Especially Doug Kearns and Kris Maglione helped in designing a library - called liberator - which provides a framework to create Vim-like applications. Muttator and Xulmus followed soon and currently a vivid community with many hackers is working on the projects.
In 2010, a huge redesign started to from the basis of what would become Vimperator 3.0 and later versions. Due to some controversy between the main developers, Vimperator split into the main 3.0 branch which incorporates the new streamlined design guidlines and Pentadactyl which focuses on feature-ladden Vim compatibility.
In 2011, the vimperator labs developers decided to focus again on Vimperator and Muttator and dropped Xulmus (the “Vimperator for Music”) from the repository as there was no active maintainer and because of the general quality of the port.
In the following years, development slightly decreased as Vimperator got more and more mature. However, it was still maintained to be compatible with new Firefox versions and even gained some new features.
However, 2017 brought the real death to Vimperator, as Firefox radically changed due to moving to a multi-process model (called Electrolysis). While this meant a lot of incompatibilities for existing add-ons, the final nail in the coffin was Firefox 57 moving exclusively to the same extension model as Google Chrome (and Microsoft Edge), called WebExtensions. Porting Vimperator to WebExtensions would mean a complete rewrite, and many features would not even be possible. If you (yes, you! ;)) would like to change that by doing the port, please contact us.
Please send comments/bug reports/patches to the mailing list, where a lively community will properly answer most questions. If you don’t have a google account, you should also be able to join the mailing list by sending an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also join the #vimperator IRC channel on irc.freenode.net.