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Re: An 'ae' testimony

OK, I haven't read all of this thread, but I've read enough to know that
most of what I haven't read is either reguarding a replacement editor or
of no value to me ;-)

First of all, I only have one complaint, and it goes to Joseph Carter's
snide remarkes about the non-functional nature of ae in general. This is
simply not true. ae is a nice, functional, compact editor, who's only
claim to fame is that it is smaller than anything else. The only current
bugs against ae have to do with key bindings.

On the other hand, I readily admit that the vi emulation mode is, and
always has been to varying degrees, broken beyond repair. The whole
concept is a broken one. ae is a nice editor when it runs modeless. As a
modal editor (vi is a modal editor) ae is a disaster because of the way
that it treats the two states. This makes it impossible to actually
emulate the exact behavior of a vi editor. A few of the simpler
opperations can be dealt with, but that is not sufficient for the "finger
programmed" in the group.

I was swayed to include the patch for vi mode emulation, and have worked
real hard to keep that functionality as intact as possible (note the last
patch for the Hurd folks), because of strong insistance that ae respond to
the vi habituated among us. The repeated discussions about the lameness of
the solution, including this one, have convinced me that this was a

In the next release of ae, there will be no support for the editor
impared. ae will only run as ae, and will no longer masquerade as
something that it is not. If there needs to be a vi script that notifies
the finger-programmed to type something else, it will need to reside
somewhere in the boot floppies, and be discribed on some information
screens during installation.

ae will no longer support any reference to vi.

If you don't like the key strokes that I have chosen for ae, you can
certainly talk to me about them, maybe even submit a bug report. However,
the current key configuration has been evolving over the last two years to
handle the various strange tty situations where ae is being used, so I'm
not likely to change anything here without it actually satisfying a larger
audience. Because the key bindings of ae are configurable by the
individual user (in their home ae.rc file) every user is free to change
the keybindings to suit their needs (or finger memory).

I use many editors during the course of my day. They range from sed, ed,
and even under some circumstances ae, to vi, beav, joe, and even sometimes
emacs. I don't understand how someone can come into ae, and not know what
keys to press, as the complete list of possible keystrokes is listed, by
default, in the help screen. (There seem to be a lot of folks who edit
with their eyes closed ;-)

If those keystrokes don't suit your tastes, then I can only suggest that
you use a different editor. We have enough different kinds available!

As for the editor that should go on the boot floppies? I'll stay out of
that discussion, except: Should anyone come up with an editor
that emulates the old DOS "edit" program, and takes the same order of
space on the boot floppy as ae, I would be in favor of replacing ae with
that editor. (or one that fits the same space/function constraints)
Other than that I could honestly care less what editor is on the boot
floppies, I'm sure I will be able to use it ;-)

Waiting is,

_-_-_-_-_-   Author of "The Debian Linux User's Guide"  _-_-_-_-_-_-

aka   Dale Scheetz                   Phone:   1 (850) 656-9769
      Flexible Software              11000 McCrackin Road
      e-mail:  dwarf@polaris.net     Tallahassee, FL  32308

_-_-_-_-_-_- If you don't see what you want, just ask _-_-_-_-_-_-_-

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