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Bug#3146: 1.1 installation: ae doesn't work

Bill Mitchell:
> The reason that ae appeared in the distribution is that a
> need was seen for a _very_ small and _very_ easy to use editor

Yes, vi is big.  It would still be nice as long as it doesn't
require one more install floppy...  I'm just wondering why it
is so big - /usr/bin/vi is about 170K on SCO OS5 (intel), about
230K on Solaris 2.5 (sparc - RISC code is bigger) and about 290K
on Debian 1.1.  Perhaps it was compiled with -g or without -O2?
An old elvis binary (a.out, from slackware 2.1) is only 107K...

As for being easy to use: this is a matter of personal preference
and it's impossible to make everyone happy.  I, for one, find vi
easier to use than ae.  Plus, vi will work on any dumb terminal
which has no function keys.  If we need something small and easy,
it should be something that will at least work on any (cursor
addressable) terminal.  It's unix, so I think it is reasonable
to assume that the user knows the basics of vi (maybe a few vi
commands, enough to do basic editing in emergency situations,
should be documented in the installation manual).

> to squeeze onto the installation disks.  The closest alternative
> (which is a traditional unix editor -- perhaps _the_ traditional
> unix editor) was /bin/ed.

It's a little too traditional for me :-).  I think we should have
/bin/vi (and a symlink from /usr/bin/vi for compatibility).  If
we really want to free some space, maybe we should make it possible
to boot the system without perl?  I wrote a replacement for the
start-stop-daemon script in C (it's much faster too) and sent it
to Ian J. but it didn't make it into the official version of dpkg
for reasons yet unknown to me.  It's still listed under "other
stuff unlikely to get done soon" in /usr/doc/dpkg/WISHLIST...


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