Fewer external plugins needed to use a shell within Vim anymore!
The main new feature of Vim 8.1 is support for running a terminal in a Vim window. This builds on top of the asynchronous features added in Vim 8.0. The terminal window can be used for many purposes, here are a few examples:
* Run a command, such as “make”, while continuing to edit in other windows. The progress of the command can be observed, the terminal window is continuously updated.
* Run a shell where you can execute a series of commands.
* Use the new terminal debugger plugin for debugging inside Vim. This is especially useful over an ssh connection, when opening other terminals is not possible or impractical. I use this to fix problems in Vim when travelling.
The terminal window is also used in tests, to grab a screenshot and compare it with the expected state. This allows for testing interactive actions, such as the popup menu.