punkwalrus (punkwalrus) wrote,

Linux - Editor wars

It amazes me sometimes how people fight about the stupidest crap. When I started in the Unix world in about 1990, we had vi on the Solaris systems. We might have had Emacs available, but everyone used vi because it was an accepted standard at the University of Maryland. When we went from mail to Pine, we started to use Pico. Then I left UMD and went a few years with no Internet access [tremble... shake]... and then Brad got me on his Digex account, and I used Pico a lot there.

When I started mucking about with Linux builds, I found that Pine, not really being Open Source, was not the default mail reader on many Linux distros. Pine packages Pico, so often I had to go back to vi to get things running so I could GET Pine, and then I just got used to vi again. Then came Gentoo, which had nano, a Pico clone! Arrrg! :-D

I am not a vi guru. Hardly. I know how to get around, do basic editing, and so on, but I know people who always have vi running in some window, running commands from ! or something. They know how to cut and paste from several layers of clipboards, and never touch the mouse as the zoom through code.

When I "got back to Unix" a few years ago, it amazed me how many people fought over stuff like distros and editors. I just use vi because I started with it, you don't need a mouse, it's light in the memory, and ... well, I am used to it. I once worked with a guy who swore by Emacs, even made me use a Windows version of it. I still have the O'Reilly manual he made us all get somewhere. In retaliation, I got a vi reference guide with it. But that guy faded away, and I still used vi.

Best quote? Emacs is a wonderful operating system, but a terrible text editor. That's how I feel about Emacs. I am sure it's really powerful and once you get to know it, it's like Nerdvana, but for now, vi keeps me cozy and happy.

Another vi primer.
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