Jason Nicholls jason at mindsocket.com.au
Sun Oct 1 07:56:04 WST 2000

On Sun, Oct 01, 2000 at 02:26:18AM +0800, Beau Kuiper wrote:
> Escape, the most common key used in vi, IS on the extreme top/left hand side
> of the keyboard. Alt and ctrl are much closer. Vi also gets it wrong by:

Good point ;)

> 1) Assuming people use commands more than entering text. When using a text
> editor, most of the time I am entering text, not running obscure commands.
> 2) Executing a command and doing stuff is far too slow and difficult. If I am
> inserting text, and I need to delete a line, I must:
> 	reach to the far end of the keyboard and press ESC
> 	position the cursor
> 	press d twice (the command to delete a line)
> 	press i to enter insert mode again.

This is a matter of usage. It would certainly be slow to switch in and
out of insert mode, but that's why you spend the time to become proficient
(and find a more effective way to work the editor).

> 3) The feedback vi (or even vim) gives back is far too terse to understand. Am
> I in command or insert mode. Where exactly am I in the file I am working on.
> What commands can I execute and how do I do them (I am not particularly fond
> of remembering all of them)

Vim is a little more friendly here. It has auto-completion of commands,
displays that it's in insert/replace (or other) mode. The ruler option
displays line/pos number. And ":help" is your friend, it remember the commands
for you ;)

> > [and before people begin to shout, there are CTRL/ALT combinations in vi 
> >  but it's usually possible to avoid (and I've excluded the use of
> >  bindings etc...)]
> And before you complain about using CTRL or ALT, think about how many times
> you have used SHIFT, right next to both of those keys in your original post.

SHIFT is out to the side, but more accessible. Just try it, position your
fingers on the "home" keys and see the difference in effort to SHIFT or the
CTRL/ALT keys.

> I agree that vi is far better than a no-frills text editors like kedit, but it
> doesn't mean vi is efficient for most people. 

It has the potential to be more effective. That's why I urge people to learn
how to use them (vi or others). After using VIM for more than a couple years, 
I'm still learning!


Jason Nicholls
Jason Nicholls    icq: 11745841    email: <jason at mindsocket.com.au>
Proprietor                        mobile: 0417 410 811
Mind Socket [web services]          http://www.mindsocket.com.au/

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