The latest version is 4.6. The latest beta release is 5.0w (as of February8, 1998).
The main archive for the latest versions of Vim is ftp://ftp.oce.nl/pub/vim The directory structure:
/pub/vim/amiga /pub/vim/atari /pub/vim/beta-test /pub/vim/os2 /pub/vim/pc /pub/vim/unix
The latest public release can be found in the atari, amiga, os2, pc, and unix directories. The latest beta-test versions can be found in the beta-test subdirectories.
For a complete and updated list of current FTP sites, please refer to http://www.vim.org/dist.html.
http://www.vim.org/dist.html#binaries. But if you need to compile it, you must have a C compiler and a make utility. Most commercial C compilers come bundled with a make utility, so if you've got one of those, you're in luck. If you need a compiler or if your make utility doesn't like the Makefiles provided with Vim, you can get the GNU C compiler and GNU make at ftp://prep.ai.mit/edu/pub/gnu and its mirrors. At that same site, you can also find sed, binutils, and other GNU tools (such as gzip) which can be useful on certain systems. For DOS systems, you can look in ftp://ftp.coast.net/SimTel/msdos/.
If you plan on compiling the GUI version of Vim under Unix, you must have some kind of widget library. One of these three should suffice:
Motif libraries These libraries are commercial but are distributed with a number of operating systems. You can find out how to purchase it by going to http://www.rdg.opengroup.org/. Athena libraries This is a freely available widget set which is included in the X11 distribution. This is a no frills library which implements a number of widgets that are necessary when building a GUI. Various other similar libraries have been built from the Athena widget set. These variations allow a 3D look and a NextStep look. These variations are not part of the X11 distribution. The X11 distribution is available at ftp://ftp.x.org/. Lesstif This is a free Motif clone. It is available at http://www.lesstif.org/.