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VI for MS-DOS

kb2syd

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I had a copy that would fit on a 360k floppy. It required ANSI.sys, and had a termcap file too. Does this ring a bell with anyone.
 

Ole Juul

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I have at least one version for dos. I'm sure that many have been written.
Code:
C:\SYS\0\$ dir vi
VI.COM 24,866 02-18-86 2:09p
I don't know about what you mean by "fit on a floppy". That makes me think you are talking about something other than the vi editor.
 

kb2syd

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I have at least one version for dos. I'm sure that many have been written.
Code:
C:\SYS\0\$ dir vi
VI.COM 24,866 02-18-86 2:09p
I don't know about what you mean by "fit on a floppy". That makes me think you are talking about something other than the vi editor.

Yeah, fit on a floppy. I used to have a 360k utility disk I carried around. Had VI, the required termpcap, ansi.exe (a comman line loadable ansi.sys), hdir, and of course LIST.

Didn't leave home without it.
 

Ole Juul

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I've never used ansi.exe. I guess I've never had a situation where I didn't mind rebooting on a DOS machine. I normally use nansi.sys just to save space. Even if it doesn't really matter on my (slightly) modern machine. BTW, why would you use a "termcap" with an editor? Did it need colour? I'm just an amateur so these things are not readily obvious to me.

I normally just run a series of small utilities similar to what you describe. A 360 is plenty enough for me to do e-mail for example. Many of my utilities are UN*X copies and many are especially small. If you want anything like that, including vi, let me know. :) I couldn't find any others on my drives right now, but I had a quick look at simtel. Wow! They have two HUGE ones. The smallest is 359K!!! Now I know what you meant by fitting on a floppy. :p The version I have is just over 24K and I thought that was on the large side for an editor.
 

ahm

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I had a copy that would fit on a 360k floppy. It required ANSI.sys, and had a termcap file too. Does this ring a bell with anyone.
There were quite a few vi clones for MSDOS.
I know, because I'm pretty sure I tried them all. ;)

I remember one called "z" that was kinda okay.

I used to use the MKS Toolkit quite a bit; probably had it's own vi clone.

And there was one called PC/VI that was pretty good, but the company (Custom Software Systems of Natick, MA) disappeared after a couple of years. Some sort of legal trouble?

I'll dig around and see if I can find the one I used to use.

Andy
 

Chuck(G)

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I can't resist asking "Why?" I mean there are a number of really good DOS editors, including MicroEmacs that will fit on a floppy. Why, in heaven's name, vi?
 

kb2syd

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Let's not start an emacs vs. vi war. For quick and dirty editing, I happen to like vi. If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail. :)
 

Chuck(G)

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Let's not start an emacs vs. vi war. For quick and dirty editing, I happen to like vi. If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail. :)

VEDIT, SEMEDIT, etc. are also great quick-and-dirty editors and don't need no stinkin' termcaps... :) DOS may actually qualify as the platform for which the most editors have been written.

I'm still using an editor that I wrote in 1978 for 8085 and ported to 8086. Small and fast--and I know what's in it.
 

Ole Juul

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Chuck(G): DOS may actually qualify as the platform for which the most editors have been written.

I'm sure you're right. I don't care much about editors for config files, but for my writing I get really fussy. The thing is that I have a long list of specifications that it must comply with and even then, there is a big selection for DOS that fits! When I started using Linux, I looked through all the editors that I could find and the list is so small that none of them even come close to fulfilling my requirements. Only in DOS can I afford to be really picky.

More on topic: I think I heard one of the writers of the original vi editor say that it was written to be suitable for really slow connections to a server. Snappy editing was not possible - hence the nature of the interface in vi. Can anyone confirm this?
 

pitlog

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slow connections...

slow connections...

I think you mean Bill Joy, of Sun and BSD fame.

See here:
http://www.theregister.co.uk/2003/09/11/bill_joys_greatest_gift/

for the full story...

Cheers,
Tom

----------- SNIP -----------
More on topic: I think I heard one of the writers of the original vi editor say that it was written to be suitable for really slow connections to a server. Snappy editing was not possible - hence the nature of the interface in vi. Can anyone confirm this?
 

Ole Juul

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Thanks pitlog. :) Yes, I've since found that article and a number of older interviews with Bill Joy as well. Interestingly vi was written around 1976 and by 1984 Bill Joy himself had already stopped using it. His take is that vi was written specifically for a very slow modem connection, in his words less than 1200, and was not applicable after speeds increased.
 

kb2syd

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Thanks pitlog. :) Yes, I've since found that article and a number of older interviews with Bill Joy as well. Interestingly vi was written around 1976 and by 1984 Bill Joy himself had already stopped using it. His take is that vi was written specifically for a very slow modem connection, in his words less than 1200, and was not applicable after speeds increased.

On my Tandy 6000 Xenix machine, it is either vi, ex, or ed. Of the 3, VI for me. Are there any other screen editors out there that will still compile for this old machine? I have the full (K&R) c development system for it.

Kelly
 

pitlog

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vi

vi

I bet you could get an older version of emacs to compile. Maybe something like joe or an old version of pico could work. I built lots of these back in the late '80s and early '90s for users of my public access unix system. The problem with almost anything other than emacs is that they are all aimed at beginning users and are not suited to doing "real work". They were mostly used for newbies to edit email.

I remember one user who insisted quite strongly that I build him a version of teco. Anyone remember teco?

As someone mentioned in an earlier post, it's unwise to make posts about editors, especially if you've left your flame proof suit at home :), but I still use vi on both my old SVR4 machines, on my linux servers, and under OS X from a terminal. I think it's a great editor and I can do complex things much quicker in vi than I can in most rodent-based editors.

I think it's like scotch and bourbon. They're both good whiskeys, although most people develop a taste for one or the other, but not both. I never developed a taste for emacs. Or bourbon :)

Cheers,
Tom

On my Tandy 6000 Xenix machine, it is either vi, ex, or ed. Of the 3, VI for me. Are there any other screen editors out there that will still compile for this old machine? I have the full (K&R) c development system for it.

Kelly
 
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