[nycbug-talk] vi interview with Joy

Jeff Quast af.dingo at gmail.com
Fri Jan 12 09:23:39 EST 2007

On 1/7/07, michael <lists at genoverly.net> wrote:
> On Sat, 06 Jan 2007 23:14:46 -0500
> "George R." <george at ceetonetechnology.com> wrote:
> > Found this off the DFly Digest. . . is on the British Register. . .
> > from 1999:
> >
> > http://tinyurl.com/d5vt9
> >
>        "People don't know that vi was written for a world that doesn't
>                exist anymore -"

I don't think this is entirely true. For instance I I use both a
cellular modem card which has very high latency, and a blackberry
device.  This has caused me to begin using vi command mode on
ksh/pdksh and csh/tcsh.

On a blackberry, there are no arrow keys, and the control key is a
menu item! It may be easy to spread out your hands to perform
ctrl/meta combos on a full keyboard, but try it on a zaurus.

With carpal tunnel settling in, I can no longer stand all the awkward
hand movements emacs-like editors demand from me for the amount of
work I do on a daily basis -- even on an IBM Model M keyboard, not
just phone devices. I can only work so long until pain settles in.
Emacs modes make that settle in twice as fast, as almost all of my
time is spent on the command line or in an editor.

90% of programming is moving, chopping, trimming, searching, pasting,
saving, compiling, jumping to the line of error.... this is all just
simple alpha-numerics in vi command mode. my hands barely move. In
emacs, this becomes a terrible array of ctrl/meta key combos that
frustrates me to no end.

"command mode" and "insert mode" is genius, imo. I imagine even a
writer of novels would spend more time in command mode than insert

Flame away! :)


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