Religious wars (was Re: [Beowulf] A press release)

Robert G. Brown rgb at
Mon Jul 21 17:05:39 PDT 2008

On Mon, 21 Jul 2008, andrew holway wrote:

>> Speaking personally, I'd rather burn off my pre-cancerous old-age spots
>> with a wood-burning kit than use vi for more than two minutes at a time
>> ("... only long enough..." see above) but to each their own, I suppose.
> Now come on, I am but an ungainly fawn in the unix wilderness and have
> found vim to be albeit comfortably confusing but incredibly powerful
> editor.
> I thought that it was the mark of a true unix beard to be able to use vi(m).
> you should all be ashamed. Especially after all that talk of paper
> tapes and computers that made heavy clunking sounds etc. I have never
> even used a 5 1/4 inch floppy in anger.


I just never liked hopping into and out of text insertion mode, and even
though nethack DOES use the vi cursor movement keys to move around (this
was one of the original motivations for the game, IIRC) that doesn't
mean that I find them particularly natural.

IMO, one can be good, really good, at just one editor.  One's fingers
learn to do things without thinking, as they should, and the keyboard
becomes a true extension of one's consciousness, as it should.  Long,
long ago, I tried both and preferred jove.  As a consequence, while I
CAN use vi -- and when I must, I do -- the lack of the direct neural
connection I have with jove is frustrating and slows me down.

Alas, this means that you've found me out.  I'm no true beard, but
merely a pretender.  A slacker, in fact.


Robert G. Brown                            Phone(cell): 1-919-280-8443
Duke University Physics Dept, Box 90305
Durham, N.C. 27708-0305
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