Re: ae's vi attempt on boot disks stomps on real vi symlink
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> So you can install a fairly complex system as painlessly as
> possible. Though the Debian dpkg system is by far the best package
Having vi does not fall under 'as painlessly as possible'??
> management system I have seen, it _is_ quite complex, and it takes a
> number of subsystems to be at least minimally functional to enable
> the installation to continue. Unfortunately, peoples favorite editors
> would bloat the installation disks a lot.
vi is not just some people's favorite editor. It is the (second) most
common Unix editor (ed beats it). The _most_ common visual Unix
Hmm, let's take a poll of some non-Debian systems which are in-house here
(none of which were installed by me):
Solaris- yup, vi's there. How about Emacs? Nope. ae? Nope.
SunOS- there it is. Emacs? What's that? ae? Kidding, right?
FreeBSD- why, there it is. Emacs? On one system, but installed by the
admin in /usr/local. ae? No.
Hacked-together elderly Linux box once called Slackware- you bet, vi's
there. Emacs doesn't work (it's in /usr/local here too) and there's
Some systems we don't have (now) but I have experience with:
Would you agree that vi deserves a little higher standing than just some
people's favorite editor?
Also, you would rather have 'factor' and 'tic' and 'infocmp' and 'od' and
'pr' and a bunch of /usr/doc READMEs and Changelogs and a whole HORDE of
manpages (when man-db isn't even on the install disks) than vi?
The install disks are horribly bloated as they are. One more package that
makes installs easier for say a third of the people who do Debian installs
is hardly going to be noticed. Especially given that at the current size
of the install disks nvi can be included without adding another disk to
the install set. elvis-minimal would be lost in the noise.
> However, my wife (the biologist) also reminds me that the
> species which stopped adapting (and learning) have quite often gone
I would rather adapt to and learn about things which are interesting and
have use to me beyond the Debian install phase. Such as vi. Such as
innd. Such as gated. Such as sendmail. Such as Ciscos. Such as perl.
There is a long, long list of things I'd rather be doing than peering at
the upper half of ae's interface trying to ferret out which key to push to
write and exit (which I did barely know up until vi started running
ae-vi instead of ae. Also, where's the Emacs ae emulation mode? axe
emulation? How about nedit emulation?).
> Ryan> I thought Debian was supposed to make your life easier?
> For the largest number of people. I think we may have far many
> more ``customers'' who would prefer ae, or at least not object to the
> absence of vi/emace/XEmacs/axe/nedit et al.
If it costs 60k or thereabouts, and cuts interactive install time by
two-thirds for say 30% of the people who install Debian, isn't it worth
it? I would guess that's a much bigger payoff than most of the stuff
in the base system, such as 'top'.
 We have an AT&T UnixPC box of unknown probably ancient vintage that
only has (shudder) ed. This is the only exception I have found, other
than the Debian install disks, to the rule "vi is on every Unix".
 Don't say, "Hey, we've got vi for you!" because ae-vi is NOT vi.
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