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The Birth of vi 459

lanc writes "Bill Joy, co-founder of Sun, tells the story of how he wrote the vi editor. The article at The Register delves into his motives, who instigated the project, and some of the quirks of leaving a 'gift to mankind'. From the piece: '9600 baud is faster than you can read. 1200 baud is way slower. So the editor was optimized so that you could edit and feel productive when it was painting slower than you could think. Now that computers are so much faster than you can think, nobody understands this anymore. The people doing Emacs were sitting in labs at MIT with what were essentially fibre-channel links to the host, in contemporary terms. They were working on a PDP-10, which was a huge machine by comparison, with infinitely fast screens. So they could have funny commands with the screen shimmering and all that, and meanwhile, I'm sitting at home in sort of World War II surplus housing at Berkeley with a modem and a terminal that can just barely get the cursor off the bottom line.'"

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