nvi for serious hacking
kline at tao.thought.org
Tue Oct 18 10:45:57 PDT 2005
On Mon, Oct 17, 2005 at 01:25:32PM -0600, M. Warner Losh wrote:
> In message: <20051017003501.GB41769 at thought.org>
> Gary Kline <kline at tao.thought.org> writes:
> : vi was the first screen/cursor-based editor in computer
> : history.
> Are you sure about this? I was using screen oriented editors over a
> 1200 baud dialup line in 1977 on a PDP-11 running RSTS/E on a Behive
> BH-100. Seems like one year from vi to being deployed at Berkeley to
> a completely different video editor being deployed on a completely
> different os in the schools that I used this in seems fast. So I did
> some digging.
> vi started in about 1976 as a project that grew out of the
> frustration taht a 200 line Pascal program was too big for the system
> to handle. These are based on recollections of Bill Joy in 1984.
> It appears that starting in 1972 Carl Mikkelson added screen editing
> features to TECO. In 1974 Richard Stallman added macros to TECO.
> I don't know if Carl's work was the first, but it pre-dates the vi
> efforts. Other editors may have influanced Carl. Who knows.
You're probably right. I didn't know the diff between a
computer and a washing machine until I was past 30; found
out in 1977 and haven't looked back! My first editor was
"ed" on V6, followed by ex, followed by vi circa June, 1978.
Bill used to haul around print outs of the src to vi and
csh (&c). I'd be hacking in FORTRAN and Bill would be
working in things that we lightyears beyond me.
Ideas inspire new ideas; concepts build upon one another.
This integration and cross-fertilization helps all of us.
OT, but that is why I see "software patents" as being
not only selfish but self-defeating in the longer scope of
Let me amend my prev->statement to read that "vi was
among the first screen/cursor-based editors...."
Gary Kline kline at thought.org www.thought.org Public service Unix
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