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Re: switching to vim-tiny for standard vi?

Lars Wirzenius wrote:
> I'm one of the people who prefers nvi over vim. I do so quite strongly,
> because I find that nvi obeys my fingers and vim does not. The
> differences are minute, of course, but they are really irritating.
> Unfortunately, I can't enlist them properly, since my fingers don't talk
> to me: I notice vim's incompatibility from the fact that my fingers have
> to keep correcting text under vim, but not under nvi. On days when I'm
> generally annoyed already, if I accidentally use vim instead of nvi, I
> can get quite lyrical with my cursing.

Yeah, I understand the feeling (coming at it from the exact opposite
side). It would be helpful if there were an analysis of the major differences
somewhere; the ones I am most aware of incude:

 - home, end, page up, page down, and delete, all do something reasonable in
   vim in insert or append mode, but do nothing very useful in nvi in those
 - in vim the arrow keys always move around even in insert mode. In nvi
   they do too (surely it diverges from "real vi" here?), but if you arrow
   to the end of a line, it flashes the screen and drops you out of insert
 - vim wordwraps long lines by default as they are inserted (bloody annoying);
   nvi usefully just logically wraps the single long line for display
 - backspace in vim deletes the character to the left, instead of just
   moving the cursor back and temporarily turning off insert mode
 - backspace in vim can delete text you have not just inserted; in nvi it
   only backspaces through the just inserted text
 - delete in vim deletes the character under the cursor and if you delete
   all the way to the end of the line, pulls the next line "up" and begins
   deleting it too, whereas in nvi delete begins backspacing through the
   remainder of the line if you reach the end of the line, and it never
   deletes other lines
 - vim supports multiple levels of undo; in nvi the second undo undoes your
 - some commands like 'cw' display differently in vim, although the end
   result of the keystrokes is the same for all the standard vi commands I
 - nvi flashes the screen/bell when a command fails; vim does not
 - :help vi-differences in vim describes some other differences that are
   less noticible

> I'm not bothered at all by switching nvi with vim-tiny in base. As long
> as I can install nvi if I want to, I'm happy. I'd even be happy without
> any vi-like editor in base. As long as there is one editor in base that
> I can without great difficulty in an emergency (nano seems to qualify),
> I don't need anything more.
> In fact, given that it's good for base to be small, I'd like to suggest
> that we don't have more than one editor there.

IIRC the reason we have a vi in base, and at priority important at that
is because of the definition in policy that:

          Important programs, including those which one would expect to
          find on any Unix-like system.  If the expectation is that an
          experienced Unix person who found it missing would say "What on
          earth is going on, where is `foo'?", it must be an `important'

Which of course includes a vi. (Note that the paragraph goes on to explicitly
rule out emacs.)

see shy jo

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