Monday, November 3, 2008

Should you learn vi?

There are so many arguments about which editor to use. Some people are quite passionate about their editor of choice. I came across this blog post today through Planet SysAdmin discussing why one person uses vi for system administration.

It pretty much sums up why it was stronly suggested to me to use vi at the beginning of my career. At that time, I only knew pico and a few commands in emacs; although now, I couldn't tell you how to edit a file in either. Over the years I've noticed the author's point is true. Almost any unix type system you encounter, it will have at least vi installed. It's definitely handy to have a basic proficiency with vi if you do any command line *NIX administration.

So, while you get your caffeine fix at work, this could come in handy as well.


Matt said...

Oh man, do I remember my trials and tribulations learning vi. The frustration of constantly having to quit a file to get rid of my mangled efforts. Trying to understand when hitting escape would make the end of the line disappear and when it would be ok.

I actually had to do this to get over pico and learn vi:

# rm -f pico
# ln -s vi pico

The neurons in my brain were hard wired, connecting "need to edit a file" to "type pico".

Thank $deity that I'm over it. That was 7 years ago. I still don't use vi to the extent that some people do, but I'm still far, far faster than anyone could be in pico.

Mestizo said...

pico f@#$ked me one too many times with its line wraps. I'd open a big script in pico to make a minor change, save it, and then spend the next 2 hours finding and fixing all the lines pico broke with line wrap!