The question of moving vi to /bin

Gary Kline kline at
Fri Jun 26 04:44:28 UTC 2009

On Thu, Jun 25, 2009 at 09:09:56PM -0400, John L. Templer wrote:
> Hash: SHA1
> 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.

	Back in 1978, Bill Joy used to walk around with a fan-fold
	printout of vi and/or csh.  He'd pull up a chair and sit at a
	term a few feet away.  (This was when I was first learning
	FORTRAN-IV and [ick] Pascal.  )  He probably fixed dozrns of bugs
	that way, walking thru the code.  --Yes, I'm sure he was trying
	to impress the girls too.  (About a third of the intro
	programming classes were female, then.  And not many uglies, 
	either! (I'm not sexist or anything, just telling it like
	it was:)   Today I'm hearing there are fewer women students into 
	programming... dunno why.)   Ken Arnold hacked the first curses
	and termcap.   Anyway, this is the BErkeley side of Unix.

	ed was my first editor on the ADM.  It was the next thing to
	magic.  vi blew it out of the water.

 Gary Kline  kline at  Public Service Unix
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