Yesterday I made a change to my plugin which essentially consisted in using getcharstr() instead of nr2char(getchar()).

That was Vim 8.2.4106.

Today at work I updated my plugin and got an error, because getcharstr doesn't exist. This is Vim 8.2.1123.

When was getcharstr introduced? I had no luck in :help vim8, nor by grepping the repository (because I was grepping my fork which was not up-to-date, silly me).

Besides, is this information even available in a Vim installation (in the form of release notes or something)? Or how should I find it from the repository?

1 Answer 1


This was patch v8.2.2957, which can be found by examining a full clone of github.com/vim/vim and any of

# message search; fast enough I didn't need any of the other limiting options
git log -1 --grep getcharstr

but if it's not in the commit messages…

# patch search
# very slow
git log --oneline --reverse -Sgetcharstr | head -n1
# for example, limiting the range of versions to search from "bad" to "good"
git log --oneline --reverse -Sgetcharstr v8.2.1123..v8.2.4106 | head -n1
# knowing that the new function is in `runtime/doc/eval.txt`:
git log --oneline --reverse -Sgetcharstr v8.2.1123..v8.2.4106 -- runtime/doc/eval.txt | head -n1
# this might be the fastest patch search, knowing it's likely to be in `src/getchar.c`:
git log --oneline --reverse -Sgetcharstr v8.2.1123..v8.2.4106 -- src/getchar.c | head -n1
  • IS there any way to learn this without having a full clone of the source?
    – mcwayliffe
    Feb 9, 2022 at 18:12
  • 2
    I'm not aware of one in general. The list of patches in :help vim8 is sorely out of date. But you can always test for existence with has and exists
    – D. Ben Knoble
    Feb 9, 2022 at 18:41
  • 2
    @mcwayliffe there is a plugin github.com/tweekmonster/helpful.vim which gives the command :HelpfulVersion getcharstr, that shows the same version as this answer
    – Mass
    Feb 10, 2022 at 12:26

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