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Re: Vi and Emacs

On Fri, Aug 16, 2002 at 01:03:37AM -0600, Bob Proulx wrote:
> A long treatise on update-alternatives follows...
> ?smund ?deg?rd <aa@simula.no> [2002-08-12 17:18:31 +0200]:
> > If your version of vi is "vim" as it should be, position yourself at the
> > beginning of the paragraph and use gq}
> Don't get me started on how vim is not a proper alternative
> replacement for vi.  It is not.  If you want 'vim' then type in vim.
> Or fix vim to be keystroke compatible with vi by default and have an
> option to enable vim-mode.

I've been using vi for  . . .  well, a long time.

Where is vim not keystroke compatible with vi?  I've,
personally, never stumbled across any differences except
for the difference between one level of undo, and multiple
levels of undo, but even there, the *commands* are the same.

> IMNHO it should not be.  Vim has many new and advanced features over
> the classic vi program.  People who like vi (and envy the features of
> emacs) usually like the vim program since it implements much of the
> fun stuff in a vi-style interface.  But the keystrokes are different
> so I dislike it as a vi substitute.

Different . . . where?

I'm not kidding here, or trying to start a flame war.

But, honestly, I didn't even KNOWN that my sys admin had switched
me from vi to vim for nearly nine months.

Because the key strokes were identical (again, save for multiple
undo, which I never noticed, because I didn't try it).

So to present an alternative view point: I see vim as the perfect
upgrade for vi, precisely because it is keystroke compatible
with vi, while also adding new commands.

Basically, vim is to vi, as Emacs-<latest version> is to Emacs-<an
earlier version>.

To call vim "not vi", is like calling emacs-20 "not emacs".

Vim is just a later version of vi.

> [interesting and informative discussion related to priorites
>  snipped . . . good stuff, go read! ]

> However, vim is not the same program as vi and the keystrokes are not
> 100% compatible.  Which means that some things you do in vi you need
> to do differently in vim.

Not in my experience.  Now, I've never been somebody who learned
and used every single vi command ever created, but within the
set of commands I use, it's 100% compatible.

The only things that help me determine which one I'm using, when
I switch back and forth from vi to vim (which I do several times a day,
because of what I do), is the multiple levels of undo.

> It is probably too late to fix my complaint about nvi having a
> priority of only 30 while the other fakers have a higher priority.

And you'd receive a lot of discussion back on it, as well.

The most obvious reason for doing this is that if nvi really is
*just* vi, making it the highest priority would be like making
Emacs-Version-1 a higher priority than Emacs-Version-20.

> I personally would recommend learning emacs.

Not if you can't switch off between multiple editors easily
and quickly . . . emacs is not installed by default on Unix
systems because the darn thing is HUGE!

You won't find emacs readily available when you have to edit
system configuration files on an init single system, for
example, so you'd still have to learn at least some vi or ed
commands . . . as RMS himself (the emacs guy) has learned
over the years.

With the much larger HDD of the present day, space isn't
as much of a problem as it used to be, but the commercial
Unices won't switch because of the free software issues.

Oh, and the backwards compatibility issues, of course.

> It is the ultimate text
> editor and word processor.

   "Emacs is a great operating system!  To bad its text editor


Seriously, don't use emacs if you have a physical injury that makes
it painful, or impossible to sit there with your pinkie finger
smashed down on a key all day long.

Of course, emacs never works for me.  Every time I type C, then h, then
C, then p, it just ends up in the file (oh, sorry, "BUFFER").


[ A little in-joke for those who are familiar with the emacs vs vi

My favorite addition to emacs, over the years, has been the X additions
. . . so that I get out of an accidental emacs session using a mouse click,
instead of kill -9!


Seriously, I started emacs up again, just to see if it was as difficult
to use as I remember it being . . . and now I can't get out of it using
the commands listed right on the opening screen!

Kill -9 time again.

> But users are fanatical about their
> editors and the emacs versus vi wars over years have been legion.


Mostly, because editing text is a very personal interaction with
your computer, not because of any inherent superiority of one
over the other.

Oh, and phrases like: "It is the ultimate text  editor and
word processor" are just GUARANTEED to start flames wars, ESPECIALLY
if the system tagged as "ultimate" . .  . isn't.

Both programs are, objectively, about equal.  The choices usually
revolve more around prefered memorization/mnemonic mapping techiques,
keyboard usage, and size issues, than any inherent superiority.

> Don't expect to get an unbiased recommendation from anyone.

On anything.  Editors, OS'en, or anything else, either.

John S.

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