Subject: Re: RFC simple screen editor for NetBSD
To: Aaron J. Grier <>
From: Andrew Brown <>
List: netbsd-advocacy
Date: 01/09/2000 01:47:38
>Ed is the mother of all editors... I learned a bastard hack of ed under
>RSTS/E in high school, and after traveling through jove, microemacs,
>emacs, pico, vi and ended up with vim, and my ed knowledge has become
>once again extremely useful.  vim == vi improved, vi == visual ed.  Ed
>is much more terse than vi, but works more places.

indeed!  i always install the ed.6 man page (from the jokes file) that
comes with emacs, whenever i have privileges on a machine.  anywhere.

>In my experience, ed is a good editor to teach beginners.  A single
>sheet (or help screen) can explain how to turn on the prompt and line
>numbers, insert and delete text, save and quit.  As a bonus, ed makes
>minimal assumptions about the install environment, and is already in

beginners?  perhaps not.  while i use emacs and vi with roughly equal
facility, i've never been able to use ed for anything too complicated,
and i'm no dummy.  i always meant to learn more of ed, but still
haven't.  as such, i'm not sure beginners would take to ed very much.
it's really quite a "programmer's" editor.  regular expressions still
make most people i know shake their heads and say "wibble!".

from the fortune file:

   Ken Thompson has an automobile which he helped design.  Unlike most
   automobiles, it has neither speedometer, nor gas gage, nor any of the
   numerous idiot lights which plague the modern driver.  Rather, if the
   driver makes any mistake, a giant "?" lights up in the center of the
   dashboard.  "The experienced driver", he says, "will usually know
   what's wrong."

i've nothing against ed, but i've not learned it yet, i've never met
anyone who uses it, and even my wife has trouble with pico.  ed's not
for beginners.

|-----< "CODE WARRIOR" >-----|             * "ah!  i see you have the internet (Andrew Brown)                that goes *ping*!"       * "information is power -- share the wealth."