Notepad, and this list WAS Re: [thelist] Removing Microsoft Word special characters

Kelly Hallman khallman at
Fri Sep 19 04:15:43 CDT 2003

On Fri, 19 Sep 2003, Michael Pemberton wrote:
> Kelly Hallman <khallman at> wrote:
> > (There is only vi...)
> The last this I needed was a text editor where I needed to learn a
> special command for such simple tasks as saving and existing.

vi is definitely not an editor to learn casually. Though I consider myself
a vi advocate, I don't recommend it to most people. Only the truly
committed will ever attain oneness, and only with a lot of patience.
That alone is enough reason for most people to steer clear of vi.

> In the same way that I am annoyed by people who buy huge 4WDs for driving
> around town, I see very little point in using a "feature packed" editor when
> all you want to do is cut and paste.

As Mr. Migurski pointed out, one of vi's main advantages is that it is
part of the base installation of pretty much every Unix-based system in
existence, so it's always there. The same cannot be said for emacs or
pico...but 'ed' is pretty standard, if you really want to know pain.

vi has been ported to almost every other operating system, too.

I don't use vi for my image; I use it because it does everything I need to
do. Frankly, when you become adept at vi's arcane commands, it's no harder
to do all the basic things you'd normally do in a text editor (and I would
argue that in many cases it makes things easier, or at least faster).

So I don't see how a text editor can be overkill, unless it is actually 
hard to use. I think vi is not hard to use, it's hard to learn.

> I'm all for discussion about personal preference, but it all must be
> seen in context.  Each task requires a particular tool.  A swiss army
> knife is great as a jack of all trades tool, but have you ever tried
> carving a roast with one?

I agree with your generalization, but it seems to me that text editing is
a single task. If you need more than one editor, perhaps you're not using
the right tool. This is why I use vi: because it's like a swiss army 
knife with a roast-carving blade for when you need it.

Kelly Hallman

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