The question of moving vi to /bin
kheuer2 at gwdg.de
Thu Jun 25 12:12:24 UTC 2009
On Thu, 25 Jun 2009, Manish Jain wrote:
>> If you want to make a case for replacing ed(1), you're going to have
>> to come up with some concrete reasons for doing so, not just make a
>> (long and hyperbolic) statement that you don't like it.
> Any Unix tool has to clearly fall either under the category of
> non-interactive (grep, sed, ex) or interactive (vi, wget, sysinstall). The
> case of non-interactive tools is simple : just do what you are told on the
> commandline and exit. For interactive tools, at a minimum, the application
> has to be show what data it is working on and what it does with the data when
> the user presses a key (or a series of them). ed was never meant to be
> non-interactive, and it does not fulfil the basic requirements of being
> interactive. That's one reason. Secondly, how many times does an average
> commandline user even think of using ed when he needs to edit a file, even in
> the extreme case where there are no alternatives ?
>> There have been some recent changes:
>> that suggest that this problem is being addressed.
> Till the improvements are in place, we need the alternative of having vi
> under /bin rather than /usr/bin.
> Actually, it surprises me to what extent the core of the FreeBSD community is
> enamoured with this idea of a micro-minimalistic base, in which it is
> practically impossible to do anything except run fsck. Matters don't stop
> there. Seeing the limitations of this approach, the community churns up wierd
> workarounds like /rescue/vi, when all that was needed was shift vi from /usr.
> You talk about the need for compliance with old hardware and embedded systems
> to save a few kilos. How old is the hardware that you have in mind ? The
> oldest system running FreeBSD I know of is a 1997 Pentium with a 2 GB disk,
> and even that can easily withstand the change I am suggesting. Machines older
> than that are actually DEAD and don't have to be factored in. As for embedded
> systems, the primary target of FreeBSD is servers, workstations and *tops.
> The embedded world hasn't survived riding on FreeBSD, nor the other way
> round. So from the viewpoint of the greatest good of the largest number,
> over-indulging a mindset fixed around minimizing the base only leads to
> degradation, not improvement. Getting to boast of a 900K / won't do any good
> when people are thinking of having decent firepower (even while in
> single-user mode) and its ease of use.
> But I guess my words are of no use when the people who matter just won't
> listen. So I give any hopes in this regard.
Maybe you're right, maybe not.
20 years ago, I've written and edited voluminous fortran code on a silly
rs232 terminal using ed. So, it is possible, and one can learn basics of
ed in less than a hour. Don't you think so?
GWDG, Am Fassberg, 37077 Goettingen, Germany, kheuer2 at gwdg.de
More information about the freebsd-questions