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Re: Editor Priorities

On 08-May-02, 11:58 (CDT), Bernd Eckenfels <lists@lina.inka.de> wrote: 
> It is unix tradition to use $VISUAL,$EDITOR,vi

Yes, because traditional unixes didn't ship with a usuable screen editor
except vi.

> I dont think it is a good idea to break with this. If I set EDITOR I want a
> specific editor cause I know how to operate it. If I dont set this variable
> I expect my system to use vi. 

Well, that's your opinion. It's not been true of Debian for several years.

> Imagine how you would look if suddenly "ee" or "emacs" or whatever pops up
> as an inline editor.

"How I would look"? You mean people are watching me, and will give
demerits if I suddenly have to use an unexpected editor? Nobody told me

What I actually do when this happens is say/think "Damn, forgot to set
EDITOR", and get on with my life.

> This is much les work and prevents users from beeing confused.

"Much less work"? How hard is it to add 'EDITOR=/usr/bin/vi; export
EDITOR' to your .profile, or use update-alternatives to set it system
wide? I find that much easier that repeatedly explaining to Unix newbies
how to get out of vi w/o fscking up the file.

The whole is no big deal. After a little thought, I think the *best*
answer to the whole /usr/bin/editor link is to limit the choices to,
say, (nano, ee, vi[1]) (in that order, highest to lowest), because the
only people who are going use that link are newbies (people who haven't
set EDITOR, or deliberatly type "editor foo"), and you want to give them
something they can deal with. The only reason I include vi as a fallback
is that it is a rare system without it, and you need something there.

Anybody who wants a different editor is free to set EDITOR. No big deal.


Steve Greenland

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