Re: How many other editors in use
- From: Kaz Kylheku <kkylheku@xxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Sat, 18 Apr 2009 01:55:53 +0000 (UTC)
On 2009-04-18, Steve Kostecke <steve@xxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
On 2009-04-04, Aaron W Hsu <arcfide@xxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
I use Nvi because it's built into my OpenBSD base installation, and
it's very efficient. It's light, featureful, and doesn't get in
my way at all. Moreover, I don't have to track it separately from
my OS, because it comes with my OS.
Also, I see that the OpenBSD CVS repository has src/usr.bin/vim.
I don't have to "track Vim separately" on my Debian systems. That's what
a package management system is for.
The most widely version of nvi is still 1.79, which is at least ten years old.
This is what is packaged in various BSD distributions, and some Linux
The Wikipedia currently says that:
BSD projects continue to use version 1.79 due to licensing
differences between Berkeley Database 1.85 and the later versions
by Sleepycat Software. nvi is unusual because it uses a database
to store the text as it is being edited. Sven Verdoolaege's
changes after version 1.79 use locking features not available
in the 1.85 database.
Is this out of date? I'm looking at the README file in the OpenBSD CVS
repository under src/usr.bin/vi. The revision is eight years old, and says:
# $OpenBSD: README,v 1.10 2001/01/29 01:58:25 niklas Exp $
# @(#)README 8.149 (Berkeley) 7/14/97
This is version 1.79 (7/14/97) of nex/nvi, a reimplementation of the ex/vi
text editors originally distributed as part of the Fourth Berkeley
Software Distribution (4BSD), by the University of California, Berkeley.
People who advocate nvi based on its inclusion in their OpenBSD system are
actually talking about this old crap.
I evaluated nvi 1.79 back in 1999 or so as an alternative to Vim, which I had
been using since around 1994. I found that it didn't compare to the
/then/-current version of Vim. Even if my evaluation was biased then, Vim has
undergone a decade of development.
From the changelogs, not all that much has changed between between 1.79 and thelatest 1.81. So there is no compelling reason to upgrade, which explains why
nobody bothers resolving the issue.
Here is a kicker. According to the Wikipedia page, nvi was originally derived
from the first version of Kirkendall's Elvis. nvi is not related to any
ancient historic BSD software, except by look-and-feel; it is a
reimplementation of the vi interface, just like vim.
If you want Elvis, go get the real thing, not some stagnant offshoot of its
Vim predates Elvis by two years; the first public release of Elvis is dated
August 1990. Vim dates back to 1988, when it ran on Amiga machines.
So, there you have some facts you may find it helpful to recall when some rabid
BSD fanatic tells you that you are using some ``pale imitation'' of vi intended
for clueless Linux users, instead of the real BSD thing. :)
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