Original vi available

Gerard Beekmans gerard at linuxfromscratch.org
Sat Feb 2 11:45:25 PST 2002

On Sat, Feb 02, 2002 at 07:45:36PM +0100, Davy Brion wrote:
> then install vi instead of vim
> ur not obligated to follow the book to the letter
> it's LFS... do whatever u like and be happy with it

I'm pretty sure Seth knows about that statement. This is just discussing a
possible change. Sometimes those things do happen. I really don't want the
book not to chagne just becuase it's been like that for historic reasons.

That aside, I'm personally not convinced if 'vi' should be used. The only
real argument I can think of is "because others use it" or "it's a historic
thing". I'm not looking at what others do, I'm looking at the best thing.

I know the 'best thing' is very subjective to personal taste so it's hard
to argue what is better. In such instances I have to make a decision based
on my own instincts and they say that vim is an easier to use editor than
the original vi is. Yes it may be a tad bloated (which can be fixed by
passing an option to configure that only install a minimum set of features)
but I believe it's not all that bad and worth the easy of use.

But that all doesn't mean anything I know. It's personal taste and there's
no way around it. I really hate to say it but I'm afraid the only real
reason that is left in the end for using vim in the book is "because I like
it best".

Now, we can talk about this: don't include any editor. Simply say "an
editor is suggested to be installed at this point, look at the lfs-hints
archive for a few possible editors like joe, pico, vi, vim and emacs". That
would be the best solution in this case to do away with all the personal
attachments, but I don't think that'll be all that great either. It would
make the book incomplete.

Okay there is hope ;)

The key phrase is "dynamic generated lfs-book". You get to pick from a list
of options what you want to have included in your personalized lfs-book. If
you want emacs, you select that and your lfs-book will have emacs
instructions in the place where vim is installed (or perhaps somewhere else
depending on the dependencies that need to be met first).

On-the-fly rendering for online viewing is pretty much out of the question.
It would require an extremely more powerful system than the
linuxfromscratch.org server is now. Generating an lfs-book takes about 3 to
5 minutes and it uses quite a bit of cpu power while doing it. Multiple
that by about 950 a day (based on the last months statistics regarding the
about of people who look online at an lfs-book). That is a lot of cpu
power, the server would probably never stop generating a book. There are
ways around it by using caches (when a 2nd person requests a book already
renderred, server it instead of creating a new one) but it would still
require a bigger system, at least a stand-alone one that doesn't need to
share it's power between other tasks as well.

But, the "dynamic book" can be very usable when you simply download the XML
source, install the proper tools to process the xml files and then run a
simple script that will render the book in such a way that you see fit.

This is something that I'll start working on in the future when things calm
down a bit (that means for sure not until LFS-4.1 is released).

So, until then you guys just gotto live with what I think is best (but you
can always ignore what I want and install your own editor by yourself.
That's the whole idea behind LFS anyways, do what you want, use the
lfs-book as a guide, not the rulebook).

Gerard Beekmans

-*- If Linux doesn't have the solution, you have the wrong problem -*-
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