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Re: Vi and Emacs

Colin Watson <cjwatson@debian.org> [2002-08-16 10:21:31 +0100]:
> It doesn't bother me that some of the keystrokes differ, because
> really it's blatantly obvious from the appearance when one is using
> vim and I can adjust for this long before I hit the corner cases
> where the keystrokes differ.)
> > Sorry.  While that used to be true before alternatives (and vim or
> > elvis or editorxyz) it is not true any longer.  Now you will never be
> > able to tell if you are calling vi or if you are calling something
> > that is masquerading as vi through alternatives.
> Sit me in front of any of the vi alternatives I've seen and I'll tell
> you which it is without having to touch the keyboard, just from what's
> on the screen.

Ah, but can you tell which one you will invoke *before* you invoke it?
That's the rub.  If you have to wait until afterward then a user would
really need to know the subtle details of all of them.  How do you
document this to a user in a way which will not be confusing to the
newbie and not tedious to the expert?  How can you write a unix manual
that would work across both the classic Sun, HP, IBM, AT&T, DEC, BSD
systems and also work on the more modern Free Software systems as too?

BTW I agree that most vi clones are "close enough for government work"
as they say.  While it frustrates me it should still be possible to
use them mostly effectively.  I was whining softly because I don't
like the result.  But I know we only got here because without a free
version of vi years ago that a clone was needed.  So I blame closed
source proprietary software for all of my troubles.  :-) :-)


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