The question of moving vi to /bin

John L. Templer green_tiger at
Fri Jun 26 01:23:14 UTC 2009

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perryh at wrote:
>> ed is an interactive program, and it has always been considered as
>> such, at least since BSD 4.2.  Way back then there were three main
>> editors, ex, vi, and ed.
> ed goes back at least as far as the Bell Labs 6th Edition (PDP-11),
> where it was the only editor in the distribution.  ex and vi (and
> termcap, without which there would be no vi) were written later, at
> UC Berkeley.
>> If you had a nice video terminal then you used vi.  But if you
>> were stuck using a hard copy terminal like a Decwriter, then you
>> used ex.  And ed was the simplified (dumbed down) editor for
>> newbies.
> More like, ed was the "original" Unix editor; ex and vi presumably
> were inspired, at least in part, by a desire to improve on ed's
> limitations.  I doubt I'm the only one who muttered about the bother
> of horsing around with ed, back when there was nothing else.

Ah, I didn't know that.  When I started using Unix (on a BSD 4.2 system)
vi was the editor of choice.  It wasn't until much later that I learned
about the ATT side of Unix.
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