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Fedora Developers Restart Talk Over Using Nano As The Default Text Editor

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  • #81
    Originally posted by cesarb View Post
    I always remove nano from every machine I administer, and have done so for two decades. I don't want to risk its automatic hard line wrapping corrupting configuration files, and having to use "nano -w" every time gets old really fast (not to mention that other programs which call $EDITOR won't add the "-w" for me).
    Eh, you can just add that to the Nano config file to make it permanent.

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    • #82
      Originally posted by starshipeleven View Post
      " Welcome to nano. For basic help, type Ctrl+G." appears when you open it and if you press those keys it will explain what the "^" symbol means.

      On Vi there is no such thing.
      That, and also, Nano has mouse support, so Fedora could just append 'set mouse' to /etc/nanorc by default.
      Last edited by Vistaus; 06-26-2020, 12:14 PM.

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      • #83
        Originally posted by JustinTurdeau View Post

        There are 100s of editors available for Linux. Instead of whining and invoking argumentum ad novitatem, why not just pick one you like and be done with it? Does saying "hurrr, Unix neckbeards are stuck in the past" really add anything substantive?
        Because the people who are new won't have a clue that there are so many editors and they won't know how to change them. You are missing the point that there needs to be an an easy entry point for the new users.

        You are also missing the point that you need to look in the mirror and look at your neck beard and realize that not everyone wants one because you have one. A little self evaluation would go a long way to reaching out to new users and understand they don't all have the same background as you and we should be an open and inviting community that helps each other.

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        • #84
          Originally posted by starshipeleven View Post
          Vi is not an option because its interface is complete trash that requires reading documentation for, while nano works as any normal text editor does.

          I can accept Vi only on embedded systems where there is only busybox's Vi, for a distro on a normal PC/Server/bigger embedded there is NO reason to use it.
          "NO" reason to use it eh? Lucky you used capital letters otherwise I wouldn't believe you.

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          • #85
            Originally posted by tildearrow View Post

            Ooo, time to think of a compromise solution!

            Here.

            On first launch the EDITOR variable is set to editor-selector or something like that, which allows the user to select their preferred editor, like this:

            Code:
            Please select your default text editor:
            (1) Simple (nano)
            (2) Programmer/Advanced (vim)
            Input number (default 1)?
            After selection, the EDITOR variable will permanently be set to the user's choice.
            Congratulations! You have volunteered to write this, fix all the weird edge case bugs it inevitably contains, and maintain it for all time.

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            • #86
              Originally posted by starshipeleven View Post
              " Welcome to nano. For basic help, type Ctrl+G." appears when you open it and if you press those keys it will explain what the "^" symbol means.

              On Vi there is no such thing.
              There is, actually. Both nano and vi have fairly useful welcome screens.

              The problem is you only see them when you run just `nano` or just `vi`. You don't see them if the program is opened with a file. Which is the relevant case here; whenever some app needs to open 'the default editor', it passes it a filename.

              So the first time you run `git commit` or `systemctl edit` or `visudo` or any one of several dozen other things that (sometimes unexpectedly) trigger 'the default editor', if the default editor is vi, you are thrown into vi's main interface. Which provides no help at all as to what you're looking at or what to do.

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              • #87
                Originally posted by cesarb View Post
                I always remove nano from every machine I administer, and have done so for two decades. I don't want to risk its automatic hard line wrapping corrupting configuration files, and having to use "nano -w" every time gets old really fast (not to mention that other programs which call $EDITOR won't add the "-w" for me).
                The seventh and eighth non-blank lines of `man nano` say this:

                Code:
                Since version 4.0, nano by default:
                
                • does not automatically hard-wrap lines that become overlong,

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                • #88
                  Originally posted by lucrus View Post

                  Agreed.



                  Agreed too, but what is a "better terminal experience" for a techie who is curious to learn a new system?

                  In my first years of Linux terminal I've been struggling with Jed and nano: both are text editors that try to be more user friendly than vim, but both do have their own learning curve and none is as intuitive as a mouse pointer and a toolbar with icons, which is not possible in the terminal.

                  For example exiting nano is not more intuitive than vim for a newbie, because newbies do not know that "^X" means Ctrl + X, and they will likely try to type the ^ character followed by uppercase X or something. So, in the end, a techie newbie will have to resort to some documentation regardless of what editor is the default.

                  When I finally decided to grasp the nettle and learn vim basics, I regretted I hadn't done that earlier.
                  nano is not perfect, but you're at least *more likely* to figure out what ^O and ^X mean (after a few tries) than you are to figure out absolutely no help at all, which is what vi's default view gives you.

                  Also, nano's default view *tells you that you are in an application called nano*, which makes it much easier to look up help if you need it. vi's view does not even tell you you are in an application called vi, which presents you with a fun initial hurdle to finding out what the hell to do next.

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                  • #89
                    Originally posted by AdamW View Post

                    nano is not perfect, but you're at least *more likely* to figure out what ^O and ^X mean (after a few tries) than you are to figure out absolutely no help at all, which is what vi's default view gives you.

                    Also, nano's default view *tells you that you are in an application called nano*, which makes it much easier to look up help if you need it. vi's view does not even tell you you are in an application called vi, which presents you with a fun initial hurdle to finding out what the hell to do next.
                    I agree, but my point is quite different: both nano and vim lead a newbie to read some kind of documentation in order to use them. Yes, for nano it is easier to find, it is shorter and easier to understand, but a newbie that opens up the terminal and types something that in turn fires up the default editor is a newbie who has already tried the basic commands like ls, cd, mv and now is exploring "git commit" or something like that. He's no fear of learning something new, and vim is something way more interesting and powerful than nano.

                    That said, I'm contributing to the time waste I cited in my first post, so I give up here. I think the Debian way in this case is a smarter solution (alternatives system).

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                    • #90
                      Originally posted by vsteel View Post
                      You are also missing the point that you need to look in the mirror and look at your neck beard and realize that not everyone wants one because you have one. A little self evaluation would go a long way to reaching out to new users and understand they don't all have the same background as you and we should be an open and inviting community that helps each other.
                      I'm not saying new users should seek to emulate neckbeards or make life hard for themselves, I'm saying that claiming these people are "stuck in the past" or somehow dysfunctional is the exact same lack of understanding that you're accusing me of, just in reverse.

                      I was simply replying to a specific point you made. I'm not taking up the role of New User Ambassador just because you think everyone else should care about the same things as you. I already do my part in the form of 10+ years of open source contributions. If you care about making things easier for new users then roll up your sleeves and actually do something, instead of just taking the moral high ground and telling everyone else what to think or how to contribute.
                      Last edited by JustinTurdeau; 06-27-2020, 04:17 AM.

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