BETA4 Vi backspace behavior

Geoff Speicher geoff at
Tue Sep 21 05:08:59 PDT 2004

On Tue, Sep 21, 2004 at 12:45:43PM +0300, Giorgos Keramidas wrote:
> On 2004-09-21 10:01, Ruslan Ermilov <ru at> wrote:
> > On Mon, Sep 20, 2004 at 09:51:48PM -0400, Mike B wrote:
> > > Sorry if this is already addressed or is a non-issue. If I enter text
> > > into vi (or vim for that matter) and hit the backspace key the cursor
> > > runs over the text but does not remove it from the screen. If I then
> > > hit escape after backing over all of this text it is then, and only
> > > then, removed from the buffer. On my 4.x systems vi and vim work as I
> > > expect with no intervention on my part. My term is set to cons25
> > > btw. Thanks
> >
> > The system's /usr/bin/vi worked like this since I remember it.
> > I've just checked, and it sure doesn't remove the character
> > with a backspace key until you escape.  In vim(1), the character
> > is removed from screen immediately.
> This is exactly the sort of behavior I remember too, at least since 1998.

It's probably worth noting not only that is that the way we remember it,
but also the way some of us prefer it, because (1) it transmits fewer
bytes over a slow link, and (2) you don't have to remember what you're
re-typing.  :)


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