I also went vim, wanting nvi to be there but Keith Bostic lost impetus
or motivation. I am not in love with vim, I still feel like its got a
lot of glitter, but with the keystrokes for homekeys burned into my
brain it was the best choice. I use ed periodically to remind myself
what reductionism in editors means. I used atom and visual basic,
they're ok for what they are.
Vim also gave me syntax colouring. again, I was suprised how quickly I
came to use it, having decried it. I guess like food, in matters of
(editor) taste there is no good disputation.
Sam didn't get into my frontal lobes quickly enough. I think if 8th
and plan9 had been only TWO years earlier out the door, a lot of the
world would look different. I look at kubernetes now, I live in it
actually, and I feel like inferno was leading me there but I got there
via very twisty paths.
Really, what I think UNIX missed the most, was the plumber. GTK and
KDE and the like dance around the problem of cut-paste between
processes in ways which I am led to believe the plumber fixed long
ago. Another thing which had it been only two years earlier, might
have got us to a more cohered space.
"first, kill all the lawyers" is probably the subtitle of a UNIX book.
On Tue, Sep 17, 2019 at 10:42 AM G. Branden Robinson
At 2019-09-16T20:20:32-0400, Doug McIlroy wrote:
Ed imposes a structure, making a (finite) file
into an array, aka
list, of lines. It's easy to define block moves and copies in a list.
But what are the semantics of a block move, wherein one treats the
list as a ragged-right 2D array? What gets pushed aside? In what
direction? How does a block move into column that not all destination
rows reach? How do you cope when the bottom gets ragged? How about the
top? Can one move blocks of tab-separated fields?
I think everyone has rued the lack of block operations at one time or
another. But implementing them in any degree of generality is a
stumbling block. What should the semantics be?
Just in case anyone didn't know, Vim has what it calls "visual block"
highlighting and operations. CTRL-V begins one and you use the usual
movement keys to shape and size it, then an operator like (y)ank or
It won't always work as one expects because of the very questions that
Doug raises above.
Vim also has characterwise blocks (begin with 'v') and linewise blocks
(begin with 'V').
The last is, more than any other single factor, what pulled me over from
traditional vi (really nvi in my case). It was a big win over
line-counting with ":.,+n" expressions. In retrospect I should have
been smarter and just typed ":.,/pattern/", using as /pattern/ some
short string that did not appear in any of the lines I wanted to operate
Though the vi clone with the best name was, indisputably, elvis.