LinuxQuestions.org
Support LQ: Use code LQ3 and save $3 on Domain Registration
Go Back   LinuxQuestions.org > Forums > Non-*NIX Forums > General
User Name
Password
General This forum is for non-technical general discussion which can include both Linux and non-Linux topics. Have fun!

Notices

Reply
 
Search this Thread
Old 10-04-2007, 12:54 AM   #1
Cinematography
Member
 
Registered: Apr 2005
Location: Chicago, IL
Distribution: openSUSE 13.1
Posts: 357

Rep: Reputation: 31
Thumbs up nano vs vi


Why do people love vi so much?

I just tried it. I've never used a less straight forward text editor. What is it used for, and why it is so loved when there are easier editors like nano available? Maybe vi is more featureful?

I wish more distros would come with vi and nano.
 
Old 10-04-2007, 01:04 AM   #2
Hiko
Member
 
Registered: Oct 2007
Location: Wahiawa, Hi.
Distribution: Arch, Ubuntu, Fedora, Mint
Posts: 52

Rep: Reputation: 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cinematography View Post
Why do people love vi so much?
I have no idea to be honest. I learned vi first. It works great for the text editing I need to do. I am no programmer so no need for any of that. Mostly I will edit a configuration file here and there and maybe work on a document or such. I guess it all comes down to choice and being able to express that choice. You like nano. I like vi. Linux gives us that choice and all with the freedom to change our minds. The real value in Open Source is not in the cost, but in the freedom given us.
Mahalo,
Edward
 
Old 10-04-2007, 01:17 AM   #3
oneandoneis2
Senior Member
 
Registered: Nov 2003
Location: London, England
Distribution: Ubuntu
Posts: 1,460

Rep: Reputation: 46
vi is a real trial until you've learned how to use it.

Once you get past that learning curve, tho, it's not only blissfully easy to use, it's enormously powerful and makes it supremely easy to carry out all manner of tasks.

Think of "Why vi instead of nano?" as being like asking "Why would anybody want to use a computer when a piece of paper is so easy to use?" and you might get the idea
 
Old 10-04-2007, 01:20 AM   #4
timmit
Member
 
Registered: Oct 2007
Location: Illinois
Distribution: Slackware 12.0
Posts: 46
Blog Entries: 1

Rep: Reputation: 15
My experience as a new user of Linux is that vi is way too confusing, so for right now I just use nano because it gets the job done :-).
 
Old 10-04-2007, 02:57 AM   #5
Wim Sturkenboom
Senior Member
 
Registered: Jan 2005
Location: Roodepoort, South Africa
Distribution: Slackware 10.1/10.2/12, Ubuntu 12.04, Crunchbang Statler
Posts: 3,786

Rep: Reputation: 282Reputation: 282Reputation: 282
I use mostly vi(m) as I grew up with it (still don't consider myself a specialist). Things I like are:
multiple file editing
search and replace with regular expressions
exactly define where to search and replace (e.g. only between line 3 and 8)
flexible navigation through file

Not really familiar with nano, so these things might be available there as well.
 
Old 10-04-2007, 03:38 AM   #6
jschiwal
Guru
 
Registered: Aug 2001
Location: Fargo, ND
Distribution: SuSE AMD64
Posts: 15,733

Rep: Reputation: 654Reputation: 654Reputation: 654Reputation: 654Reputation: 654Reputation: 654
I've never used nano. Does it have spell checking and source code format highlighting and allow regular expression search and replace?
 
Old 10-04-2007, 03:43 AM   #7
Su-Shee
Member
 
Registered: Sep 2007
Location: Berlin
Distribution: Slackware
Posts: 509

Rep: Reputation: 41
I _love_ vi(m). I do everything with it.

After understanding the concept, it's extremely powerful and efficient to use, especially if you're a typing person. (And who isn't in times of Internet chat/mail/forums/programming... ?)

I'm so used to it, that I sometimes instinctivly press ESC:wq here in the textarea of the forum....

I can't even understand how someone would NOT use a powerful editor.
 
Old 10-04-2007, 04:40 AM   #8
RHLinuxGUY
Member
 
Registered: Oct 2003
Distribution: Ubuntu 7.04
Posts: 889
Blog Entries: 1

Rep: Reputation: 30
It's actually very useful to learn, for if your if for whatever reason you are left without a graphical user interface (It doesn't always have to be a bad situation where you are left without a GUI) vim will come in handy. Since vi/vim is a very common *nix text editor, if you ever want to get serious in that area, vi/vim is what you need to learn.
 
Old 10-04-2007, 05:01 AM   #9
b0uncer
Guru
 
Registered: Aug 2003
Distribution: CentOS, OS X
Posts: 5,131

Rep: Reputation: Disabled
nano/pico/alike editors for simple&quick text-editing, like changing some config values in a configuration file..it's just so simple and fast. And vi(m) for programming in command-line environment (also in X, if needed), because of it's abilities. Not that other programs couldn't do the same things vi does (like Emacs), but I've become familiar with it, and since it's found on every UNIX-like machine I use, why not? It would be annoying to use some other editor and then find out the other machine doesn't have that, use some other editor on it, and again some other editor on the next machine because it doesn't have either of those... So, it's everywhere, it's nice, why not?
 
Old 10-04-2007, 05:02 AM   #10
syg00
LQ Veteran
 
Registered: Aug 2003
Location: Australia
Distribution: Lots ...
Posts: 12,102

Rep: Reputation: 982Reputation: 982Reputation: 982Reputation: 982Reputation: 982Reputation: 982Reputation: 982Reputation: 982
Go search on user "dive" here at LQ.
Have a look at the sigline - gotta love it ...
 
Old 10-04-2007, 05:06 AM   #11
b0uncer
Guru
 
Registered: Aug 2003
Distribution: CentOS, OS X
Posts: 5,131

Rep: Reputation: Disabled
Quote:
Originally Posted by syg00
Go search on user "dive" here at LQ.
Have a look at the sigline - gotta love it ...
You're right..but that's how life is.
 
Old 10-04-2007, 06:26 AM   #12
jschiwal
Guru
 
Registered: Aug 2001
Location: Fargo, ND
Distribution: SuSE AMD64
Posts: 15,733

Rep: Reputation: 654Reputation: 654Reputation: 654Reputation: 654Reputation: 654Reputation: 654
You could install gvim. It operates in a terminal but has a graphical menu. If you use sudo, you need to use "visudo" to configure it. So knowing the most basic fundamentals of 'vim' is a must. Also, the rescue environment probably has 'vim-minimal' as the editor.
 
Old 10-04-2007, 06:28 AM   #13
choogendyk
Senior Member
 
Registered: Aug 2007
Location: Massachusetts, USA
Distribution: Solaris 9 & 10, Mac OS X, Ubuntu Server
Posts: 1,189

Rep: Reputation: 105Reputation: 105
I've always been impressed by this signature of a guy on a list I'm on:

Code:
***********************************************************************
* I think I've got the hang of it now:  exit, ^D, ^C, ^\, ^Z, ^Q, ^^, *
* F6, quit, ZZ, :q, :q!, M-Z, ^X^C, logoff, logout, close, bye, /bye, *
* stop, end, F3, ~., ^]c, +++ ATH, disconnect, halt,  abort,  hangup, *
* PF4, F20, ^X^X, :D::D, KJOB, F14-f-e, F8-e,  kill -1 $$,  shutdown, *
* init 0, kill -9 1, Alt-F4, Ctrl-Alt-Del, AltGr-NumLock, Stop-A, ... *
* ...  "Are you sure?"  ...   YES   ...   Phew ...   I'm out          *
***********************************************************************
Anyway, "Why vi?"

In part because you can always count on it being there (vi, not vim). You have a down system. It won't boot. You finally get it in a state where you can fsck, mount a partition, and fix some boot configuration or something. vi. It's there. ssh over to some oddball unix system to help someone else out. vi. It's there.

I also have `set -o vi` in my ksh environment. So, the same keystrokes work for my command history.

I remember 15 or 20 years ago playing some version of asteroids that worked on my computer. Same keystrokes to navigate my ship. Maybe that's why vi felt right. ;-)

Anyway, once you have the keystrokes in the microcode of your fingertips, you don't have to think about it anymore. It just works.

Last edited by choogendyk; 10-04-2007 at 06:29 AM.
 
Old 10-04-2007, 06:42 AM   #14
Su-Shee
Member
 
Registered: Sep 2007
Location: Berlin
Distribution: Slackware
Posts: 509

Rep: Reputation: 41
vi is based on the principle of "hjkl" - which lies under one hand and is easily reached.

And "j" and "f" are the typing baselines - some keyboards (like my thinkpad) have still a very small marker on them.

So, if laying hands on the keyboard in typing position, vi suddenly makes sense, because the right forefinger is exactly in the j...

And yes, I also did pull the modem plug when I started with vi, because I didn't know how to quit those damn thing and neither x, q, ctrl-x, ctrl-q or anything else I tried, worked and I didn't got this : thing a t first.

And set -o vi saved my life more than one time when I sat in front of a totally unknown Unix and never having seen a ksh before..
 
Old 10-04-2007, 07:44 AM   #15
Dox Systems - Brian
Member
 
Registered: Nov 2006
Posts: 344

Rep: Reputation: 31
nano hadn't been written when I started doing this, so I learned vi... Once you know vi, there's no need to switch. If you're starting out fresh, then perhaps it's not the best choice since nano would be easier to learn.
 
  


Reply

Tags
choice, freedom


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
About nano satimis Linux - Software 3 05-03-2007 10:01 PM
iPod Nano dstrbd1 Linux - Software 2 01-02-2006 01:46 AM
nano hostmark101 Linux - Newbie 8 08-12-2005 06:53 PM
Nano RPM? ghight Suse/Novell 5 02-07-2005 11:09 AM
nano -w /etc/hosts bobotoes Linux - Newbie 5 10-04-2004 01:49 PM


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 01:13 AM.

Main Menu
My LQ
Write for LQ
LinuxQuestions.org is looking for people interested in writing Editorials, Articles, Reviews, and more. If you'd like to contribute content, let us know.
Main Menu
Syndicate
RSS1  Latest Threads
RSS1  LQ News
Twitter: @linuxquestions
identi.ca: @linuxquestions
Facebook: linuxquestions Google+: linuxquestions
Open Source Consulting | Domain Registration