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Fedora Developers Looking To Change The Default Text Editor From Vi To Nano

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  • #71
    About your question which of the 2 editors are more easy?
    There are many reasons why Nano is easier:
    1. yes you have to guess/know what the symbol means that is supposed to mean ctrl but you ask yourself that 1 time after that you learned it and if you use all 10 years nano you won't forget it.
    But you will forget the letter of the shortcut in a editor if you use it very seldom. So seeing that letter helps.
    2. Esc :q! are 6 keys (2 times shift) vs 2 keys easier to do.
    3. the quit function has a dialog for saving if it detects that you made changes, with vi you have to think and know that you have to either use ! or w for writing so you need to know 2 commands instead of 1, and think extra which one to use now. sure :q gives you a warning but no dialog you have to modify your command.
    4. the other thing you want to do in a editor is to either modify a file or start writing a new one. nano you just type and good with vi you first have to change a mode, which again 1 more step.

    Sure you could argue that more likely you edit a file than create a new one, so better edit tools are more important than the ability to just start typing without anything, but you have to then know many commands, even deleting a word becomes a challenge if you don't know the exact command.

    You can say you only learned that backspace deletes a character but that is very basic knowledge that works even in the bash with commands you write.

    5. when we are at it, be consistent, either have a vi powered terminal and a vi powered editor or have both non-modal. else you have to understand the non modal editing of words / commands and the modal way so you have to know both, and that is of course harder than only know 1 way of doing things.
    Last edited by blackiwid; 11-19-2019, 02:26 AM.

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    • #72
      Originally posted by coder View Post
      Yes, it's expensive, though only $350. It'll last a decade, though (mine has), with a bit of caution & occasional cleaning. If that price is too dear, I might instead just opt for a split keyboard, like this:

      https://kinesis-ergo.com/keyboards/freestyle2-keyboard/
      I've heard good things about the Ergodox EZ... though I'm a little too fond of my pre-2013 104-key Unicomp buckling spring board to go with an ergonomic board.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LALQsqZP1nA
      https://ergodox-ez.com/

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      • #73
        Originally posted by blackiwid View Post
        1. yes you have to guess/know what the symbol means that is supposed to mean ctrl but you ask yourself that 1 time after that you learned it and if you use all 10 years nano you won't forget it.
        No different than VIM then.

        Originally posted by blackiwid View Post
        But you will forget the letter of the shortcut in a editor if you use it very seldom. So seeing that letter helps.
        Soon you will have no reason to use another text editor, so that's not a problem either.

        Originally posted by blackiwid View Post
        2. Esc :q! are 6 keys (2 times shift) vs 2 keys easier to do.
        Trivial really, and you use the same system to do many advanced things, like find & replace.

        Originally posted by blackiwid View Post
        3. the quit function has a dialog for saving if it detects that you made changes, with vi you have to think and know that you have to either use ! or w for writing so you need to know 2 commands instead of 1, and think extra which one to use now. sure :q gives you a warning but no dialog you have to modify your command.
        Why waste time with a dialog? With VIM I just know if I want changes saved or not, if I do I use :wq, and if I don't, I use :q!. If I'm happy with my changes so far but not ready to quit yet, I just use :w and keep going, or leave the terminal window up while I go elsewhere.

        Originally posted by blackiwid View Post
        4. the other thing you want to do in a editor is to either modify a file or start writing a new one. nano you just type and good with vi you first have to change a mode, which again 1 more step.
        It becomes a reflex. You don't even realize that you're doing it at some point. Do you have to think about how to move your finger to a key on your keyboard before you press it? Noobs do. Experienced typists don't.

        Originally posted by blackiwid View Post
        Sure you could argue that more likely you edit a file than create a new one, so better edit tools are more important than the ability to just start typing without anything, but you have to then know many commands, even deleting a word becomes a challenge if you don't know the exact command.
        Only a problem if you haven't really learned it. (especially this example, and I'll show you why below)

        Originally posted by blackiwid View Post
        You can say you only learned that backspace deletes a character but that is very basic knowledge that works even in the bash with commands you write.
        5. when we are at it, be consistent, either have a vi powered terminal and a vi powered editor or have both non-modal. else you have to understand the non modal editing of words / commands and the modal way so you have to know both, and that is of course harder than only know 1 way of doing things.
        What a lot of people don't understand about VIM is that you are not learning arbitrary shortcuts. You are learning a language. What is the delete key in VIM? It's d, for delete. If you want to delete the line, you just use d twice (or shift + d). To delete a word, you use dw (delete word, very challenging ). The letter g means goto, gg takes you to the first line, and shift + g takes you to the end of the document. (notice a pattern?) If I type a line number, like 99, followed by g, that means go to line 99. I can do all of that without taking my hands off the keyboard to click on a UI.

        In practice, navigation is really fast. Yes, you do have to learn things. If you don't like learning, why are you using Linux? Or a terminal? Just point and click on things, it's easier.

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        • #74
          I knew this would be an interesting read... but for my two cents, I always install nano as soon as possible. Using LFS I install it during the early phases around the middle of chapter 5. I do know my way around vi(m) but I've always preferred nano or pico even back in the day. I love the post about there be so many youtube videos on how to use vi... and the fact that if you need so many videos to use it, then it definitely isn't intuitive or easy.

          But as always, its your choice! That's why we all use Linux right? So Fedora makes nano the default... so what, change it if you want to.

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          • #75
            Originally posted by tildearrow View Post
            Why not ship both?

            (btw, not Vi... Vi is so broken that it can't even auto-merge well... Vim instead)
            Yeah, that's the reason I'm not fussed by this change. I have to manually install vim anyway, since out of the box, Fedora provides only vi (in the form of a very minimal vim build). So it doesn't really matter if they favour nano anyway.

            Not sure what "default" means in this case... I'm guessing it's $EDITOR, the default for system commands like cron or sudoedit that need to open a file for editing.

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            • #76
              Originally posted by coder View Post
              If you value ease of learning above all else, then I'd agree. It's basically the Apple mindset: cripple your tools, so even the dumbest and most reluctant can easily use them. There's a place for such tools.
              We're talking about a simple tool for a simple task. If you're going to be doing anything more complex, then you're not going to be doing it in a terminal. You're going to be using a more featured editor with a GUI or a full on IDE. Even if you're doing it remotely there is such a thing as a remote x window.

              No, feature-packed and difficult-to-use terminal-based editors are a relic from an era before GUIs were commonplace. Not that the terminal doesn't have it's use cases, but since the mid 1970s when Vi was first released the list of use practical cases has narrowed dramatically.

              No, intuitive is the wrong word. However, editing operations are very natural to use, once you learn them. That's because the built-in commands match the way we think about editing, at a conceptual level.
              I wouldn't say natural is the word either when fluid use of Vi is based on hard memorization of commands rather than it being natural flow of actions or otherwise obvious.

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              • #77
                This right explains nicely why Linux after all these years is still very much a fringe OS on the desktop and why that will never change. You have an outdated editor that makes Windows Notepad look like Windows Office, and just a hint that these losers (the Fedora people) are going to replace it with a different half-assed, outdated, text based editor is enough to make a bunch of nerds get all bent out of shape.

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                • #78
                  Originally posted by cynical View Post

                  What a lot of people don't understand about VIM is that you are not learning arbitrary shortcuts. You are learning a language. What is the delete key in VIM? It's d, for delete. If you want to delete the line, you just use d twice (or shift + d). To delete a word, you use dw (delete word, very challenging ). The letter g means goto, gg takes you to the first line, and shift + g takes you to the end of the document. (notice a pattern?) If I type a line number, like 99, followed by g, that means go to line 99. I can do all of that without taking my hands off the keyboard to click on a UI.

                  In practice, navigation is really fast. Yes, you do have to learn things. If you don't like learning, why are you using Linux? Or a terminal? Just point and click on things, it's easier.
                  The question was not which is the better editor but which is more easy:
                  About your question which of the 2 editors are more easy?
                  There are many reasons why Nano is easier:
                  Also while I agree that people should give vim a try it must not be their final choice and you should not force them to do it, they start hating it if they have a bad time because they need to have some small thing done and vi is the reason that makes it harder.

                  Also your consistent argument is not really logical for 2 reasons 1. having logical keys makes it easier to remember sure, but your argument was that the cost of remembering is less important and the need to learn commands than the advantage in productivity, so why do you not use the normal arrow keys then? Because it's more ergonomic to use the home row. But if easy remembering would be the priority you would not use the home row for that. So VI is not consequent. Sure having u for undo which I had to google right now because that is a very important command for vim beginners because one wrong command and half the file is gone is not to bad u especially on dvorak is easy to use. But here we have the next problem what about your arrow keys when you use dvorak? So then the system fails, so it's very unflexible.

                  But for the sake of it let's ignore that problem, just that esc is a very often needed command but you have it so far away from the home key makes it very unergonomical.

                  The problem is that vi(m) is very powerful editor no question about that, but it is not the best, the only way many people use it despite it not being the best (you can make emacs better than vim is) is because of it's state as standard, it's often preinstalled and many people programm it's key scheme in other programs. Therefor you have to learn less (than with emacs) and have your system in many places.

                  But again Vi is not optimal and it's not customizable enough and looses lot's of it's positive points if you try to modify the key scheme because then you have to do it in 1000 other programs.

                  While I do not agree with all his points that is a good starting point why vim is far from ideal:
                  http://ergoemacs.org/emacs/vi_vim_pile_of_history.html

                  The question is if I am already are willing to relearn everything I know about a computer and be realistic most people will have used notepad or something similar before they use vim these days, why then learn not a perfect editor and only one that is better but not close to perfect with many big problems? And don't get me wrong emacs with it's default is not better especially as editor (because emacs is not only a editor), I would even say a worse editor but emacs is better and easier customizable so you can get the perfect editor.

                  It is also confusing because as many said it's not vim that is installed so even if you like vi you have to relearn much things if you want to go this direction seriously.

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                  • #79
                    The best ever Emacs vs Vi reply.



                    I pity the new gens, they never had the joy of real nerd wars.
                    Last edited by moilami; 11-19-2019, 10:34 AM.

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                    • #80
                      Originally posted by Spooktra View Post
                      This right explains nicely why Linux after all these years is still very much a fringe OS on the desktop and why that will never change. You have an outdated editor that makes Windows Notepad look like Windows Office, and just a hint that these losers (the Fedora people) are going to replace it with a different half-assed, outdated, text based editor is enough to make a bunch of nerds get all bent out of shape.
                      Vim or Emacs on plain console screen is the most distraction free environment there is. This I noticed 20 years ago, long before "distraction free" became all the rage, and I find it amusing each time people rage their "distraction free" environments lacking all functionality. In real distraction free environment you get all the functionality you could ever imagine without distractions.

                      So, Emacs or Vim on console screen, and fuck off hipsters.

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