[CentOS] Re: gcc editor for newbie (Emacs or vim or ?)

Mihai T. Lazarescu mtlagm at gmail.com
Tue Aug 12 22:16:10 UTC 2008

On Tue, Aug 12, 2008 at 03:27:28PM -0400, William L. Maltby wrote:

> On Tue, 2008-08-12 at 20:45 +0200, Mihai T. Lazarescu wrote:
> > An intuitive interface shortens the learning curve.
> > An efficient interface becomes a concern after that. vi came
> > to serve in an environment where most were looking simply for
> > efficiency, the way they perceived it back then.  And some of
> > those rules are still effective today.
> I'm afraid most of the really good rules are "broken" today. Best
> example is the original credo of UNIX: "Do one thing and do it well".
> That was the design philosophy then. Free software development
> methodology tends to subvert that. Today, "design towards mediocrity" is
> the credo, ecouraging the users and developers to be less competent,
> imaginative and requiring less thought.

I'm afraid that addressing the average needs is a widespread
trend today even outside computing.  Fortunate us that besides
the shells of all-in-one programs we can find and work with
those building blocks of the sound, original concepts.

My point was concerning Florin remark that the basic needs
for building an efficient UI had changed so much over time.

The only additional UI standard device we have today is the
mouse and we see an explosion of *G*UI.  However, almost
all modern GUI recognize the keyboard command efficiency and
provide a range of shortcuts for power users.  The best GUI
even allow for user-configurable shortcuts and macros.

Through modal operation vi pushed this one step further,
shortening the interaction with the keyboard.  A host of
frequently used commands are one key away once you get your
mind set that text entering ends with ESC.

I can agree that shortening the keyboard interaction may not
worth that much to many people.  But this does not alter the
fact that visually searching entries in menus takes a lot more
that a keyboard shortcut for the same task.  And a shortcut
made of keys plus modifiers take longer than the same or less
keys with less or no modifiers.

On Tue, Aug 12, 2008 at 12:06:35PM -0700, Florin Andrei wrote:

> Well, when people start to fail to understand your metaphors (or switch  
> to the uber-literal-minded mode and attack the imperfections in the  
> comparisons you make, instead of debating the original topic), you know  
> it's pointless to continue the discussion. ;-)

It's up to you to see the points addressing the original topic
within the replies.

> But the way this "discussion" evolved is a great illustration for why vi  
> still survives today. If it was a rational decision, it would have died  
> circa 1999.

You may also fail to see why the development of mutt started
about that time, borrowing "obsoleties" from both vi and mail.
I'm afraid this does not make mutt a less rational decision or
less usefull program, nor make of its or vim young and quite
active developers nostalgics blind to progress. :)

> Alright, time for me to disappear from this thread.


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