vi vs. nano in shr user manual (was Re: SHR first experiences & user manual)

Al Johnson openmoko at
Fri Aug 28 16:07:37 CEST 2009

On Friday 28 August 2009, William Kenworthy wrote:
> On Fri, 2009-08-28 at 11:00 +0300, Risto H. Kurppa wrote:
> > see
> ...
> > Wait a sec - did I understand correctly that you want to tell people
> > to use vi in the user manual?
> >
> > So I take you expect that people going through the manual are skilled
> > enough to use vi and if not, they'll be smart enough to use nano
> > instead?
> >
> > Maybe the manual should explain how to use vi: how to save, exit etc..
> > I have no idea how to use it. Maybe a link to vi howto?
> >
> > I have no problems accepting that some prefer more vi than nano but I
> > have hard time accepting it being suggested in a manual where you
> > can't be sure people know how to use it as it isn't as
> > self-explanatory as nano, no matter how much Ctrl you have to use.
> >
> >
> > r
> I would agree with Risto here - vi is great for experienced users, but
> for the inexperienced or "pure "user" - it can be a nightmare experience
> that provides detractors with plenty of ammunition that linux is hard to
> use, for geeks only and not for serious use ...

Agreed. Even the Gentoo install guide uses nano for its examples. The 
inexperienced can use it, and the experienced will just substitute their 
preferred editor anyway.

> Idea, have guides for both (if not nano then something similarly easy to
> use -  a dos edit clone of some kind for compatibility, nedit?) - linked
> from the manual.  There are plenty of vi guides out there, and probably
> for most other apps as well.  The idea should be to guide and inform,
> catering for both experienced and inexperienced (to both the FR and
> linux) users.

It seems rather out of scope to me, as well as fertile ground for 'why isn't 
app x included whey you include app y' arguments.

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