[sf-lug] vi(1)

Michael Paoli Michael.Paoli at cal.berkeley.edu
Wed Oct 24 23:35:05 PDT 2007

> Date: Wed, 24 Oct 2007 19:19:21 -0700
> From: "Christian Einfeldt" <einfeldt at gmail.com>
> Subject: Re: [sf-lug] FWIW and :r! dig -t ns sf-lug.com
> because you will learn stuff through osmosis.  vi is an important text
> editor because it is really old and because it can run in a virtual shell.

No, not because it's really old (though it has been around quite a
while).  Rather, because:
* it's highly ubiquitous - one will pretty much always find some
  (semi-reasonable) implementation of vi present on most any Linux or
  Unix system (at least if it's standards compliant, rather than,
  e.g., some highly stripped down embedded installation).  Many
  non-Linux non-Unix systems/devices (e.g. many flavors of routers,
  switches, firewalls, terminal servers) also include a vi
  implementation for editing files and the like (and they typically
  won't have emacs, nano, etc.).
* it's a damn good editor (no, not word processor, syntax highlighter,
  font picker, etc.; editor; Unix design philosophy is build good
  tools that do their jobs quite well, and have good unform interface
  for connecting these various tools and programs)

Oh, and it's very user friendly ;-) (okay, it's selective about who
its friends are).  But if one is going to be doing anything very
serious with Linux or Unix - especially systems administration -
learning vi would be a quite good and useful thing to do.

For "users" - that aren't and won't be administrators, there are other
alternatives (e.g. emacs, nano, etc.) which may typically be
available.  But vi will always be there for you.  In the case of
emacs, nano, etc., one might need to ask one's systems administrator
(and they might install it for you, or they might tell you to use and
learn vi).

More information about the sf-lug mailing list