[TUHS] What was your "Aha, Unix!" moment?

David david at kdbarto.org
Sun Oct 13 02:12:19 AEST 2019

> On Oct 11, 2019, at 8:01 PM, Larry McVoy <lm at mcvoy.com> wrote:
> On Fri, Oct 11, 2019 at 09:41:07PM -0500, ricercar at lycos.com wrote:
>> I first started using emacs. I have also grown to appreciate ed, though I
>> learned that quite a bit later.
> If you were on some 300 baud dial up modem, ed made tons of sense.  You
> had a mental picture of the file in your head, you didn't need to see
> all of it in real time, that was wasteful.  ed let you see as much as
> you needed and as little as was productive.  And it worked without 
> termcap.  ed rocks, it's yet another little program that does what
> it needs to do and no more.
> ed was like a lot of stuff that Bell Labs did that dated back to the
> days when getting a print out took a day or so.  pic(1) is a great
> example of that.  I *love* pic because I can look at the input to
> pic and I can see what it will look like.  xfig and friends are 
> not so much.

After using ed and other Unix programs I convinced a member of the
UCSD Pascal project that having a line oriented editor would make sense.
YALOE (Yet Another Line Oriented Editor) was the result. It took almost all
of the commands that ed did and so familiarity with one would allow you to
work with the other.

The simplicity of ed was so nice. One other thing using ed forced me to do
was to keep my files small. Large files would quickly become something you
had to hunt around in. Small files were easier to edit.


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