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Re: Adding a simple editor to the base system

On Tue, 10 Feb 2009, Thor Lancelot Simon wrote:
> I am opposed to spending 50K on this in 'base' for NetBSD.  The
> "desktop NetBSD" I have seen proposed would include many add-on
> packages in addition to the NetBSD base system, so it seems more
> appropriate to offer it in that form.

I think that the desktop NetBSD project should strive to ensure that the
system can be installed and configured without needing to use any line
mode or curses mode text editor.  I think that having a very simple and
easy to use curses mode text editor in base (and in /rescue) addresses
a different audience; it's hard to predict when an inexperienced user
will need to edit configuration files in an emergency, but it could
easily happen on a server that doesn't have any kind of desktop package
installed.  For example, think of a person unfamiliar with unix acting
as remote hands to edit config files under telephonic supervision from a
person familiar with the problem at hand.

> The one thing I stripped out that _does_ add a lot of space is
> localization.  In FreeBSD base, ee is localized and that uses a lot
> more space than 50K.  I'm unclear on whether we'd actually want that.

I see that it also has a paragraph reformatter, a spelling checker, and
a print command.  These are not necessary in an editor whose main reason
for inclusion is to allow inexperienced users to edit configuration
files in an emergency.

--apb (Alan Barrett)

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