LFS editor of choice should be vi

Jesse Tie Ten Quee highos at highos.com
Sat Dec 2 05:53:40 PST 2000


On Sat, Dec 02, 2000 at 01:15:44AM +0100, Matthias Benkmann wrote:
> May I ask when you started with Unix? If the answer lies 10 years back, 
> you *are* an old-schooler. Of course I should have added 
> "and their apprentices" to account for the people who are not old-
> schoolers themselves but have (had) an old-school mentor.
> I'm sure you and your colleagues fall either in the old-school mentor or 
> apprentice category unlike the masses of new *nix end users who didn't 
> even exist a few years back when *nix was only used by a few highly 
> specialized individuals. The new *nix users, the people that populate the 
> newbie newsgroups are more like Windows users (many of them *are*). They 
> are the people who made Redhat and SuSE as successful as they are now. 
> They are the driving force behind current *nix developments like KDE and 
> GNOME. It's the Windows generation of Unix users. Whether you like it or 
> not, they will take over (they probably have already, when looking just at 
> numbers) the *nix scene. Vi is not part of the average KDE desktop and 
> nowadays this is almost the same as vi not being part of Unix. The same 
> applies to joe and pico, of course, even though those could at least be 
> used without effort by someone who's grown up with kedit.

Hrm..so i wonders where i am, i have only been using Linux since
December of '98, and i have not had someone watching over my back
helping out... do you want to know which editor i was using when i first
tried out linux? ed. Why ed? because at the time i was hanging out on
alot on MOO's (MUD Object Oriented), well i still do actually..but
anyways, the in-MOO editor they use is very similar and was actually
based on ed/red.

I didn't learn about any other editor untill some day i was using Debian
and i found vimtutor, i fired up vimtutor and to
my delight look at this, a very nice tutor on howto use this new editor,
since then i have learned just about every command-line and X/GUI editor
there is.

Now...i'm not the average GNU/Linux user, but then again, most LFS'ers
aren't either.

The average LFS'er, from what i've seen in the last couple of months are
those that have tried every single distro out there, they may have liked
this or that one, but they aren't totally happy with it, because once
you change something to customize it, it breaks something badly..so
there looking at the ultimate way of customizing a Linux system from the
Get-go, right now that's LFS =)
(and/or not to be restricted by the package developers that consider the
default options the "right" way of doing it)

The other average LFS, i've seen is the one that wants to learn how a
Distrobution is put together, the avid-learner, either to just know how
it's done, or to make there own Distrobution (or custom tarball if you

(now, those are just two examples...)

Todo LFS right now, you have todo a fair amount of reading and
especially learning, your average Mac or Windows convert doesn't want
todo that, and there stuck with a distrobution...do i feel pity for
them? yes i do, but i'm trying to fix that and feel proud by helping out
with LFS and ALFS by making it better and more user-friendly.

There was an issue that was brough up on the mailing lists about there
only being one option for a text editor and imho, the solution is not
all that bad, LFS isn't suppose to be a "dumm" process, your suppose to
learn something, not just paste the commands and be done with it, if
your picky enough about which editor is your favorite an extra five
minutes reading and doing a Hint isn't going to kill you, you may
actually learn something, which if i do remenber correctly is one of
the nicer things about this Project...your always learning something

To those that keep bitching and whining and giving lame excuses why this
or that is like that and why LFS can't to this, can i say this..good
bring up the issue on the mailing lists, we all _love_ to make LFS a
better project, but...things take time, and not all things can just
happen, there's a process that has to happen and you have to compromise on
certain issues, like only including one editor in the Book...

But is that compromise so bad? Gerard will make it look nice, and warn
the user that if you don't like vim as your only/default editor, that
the LFS Hints Editor section is right there, just go to the website
click on your favorite editor and do those steps instead.

There _are_ things that are being done to make LFS more user-friendly
and easier for a newbie, but everything in life takes times.

LFS isn't a huge project, like Debian where you have 600+ developers
that are working on it all the time or have a large number of ppl
subscribed to the mailing lists..hell, there is just over (IIRC) only ~300
ppl subscribed to lfs-discuss.

Nor is LFS a project where there are a bunch of payed developers like
Redhat, Mandrake, SuSE, etc.. right now there are only two, myself and

There is alot of stuff that needs done to maintain LFS..and we don't
work 24x7 on LFS, we do have a life (at least i try, Gerard's better
then me there, he actually has one ;) and we also have other
responsobilities that are not even related to LFS.

(note: When i speak of LFS, i don't just mean the Book..there's the
server (shadowfax.linuxfromscratch.org), LFS Hints, LFS InfoSys, ALFS,
Website(s), Advocasy, etc..i can keep going, this is just the things you
guys know of allready, not counting other stuff we are working on :)

Now...just the things Gerard does every single day, amaze's me, i don't
get as much LFS related work done as he does (mind you, most of what i'm
doing is for ALFS)..he does twice as much work as is expected (imho) of

Now, i want to mention one little thing, that i think we all should say
thank you to;  Bryan Dumm, on part of BC Publishing hired Gerard when he
was uncertain about the future of LFS, his immagration to Canada was
being finalized (ahead of time, IIRC) and the companies that were
looking into hiring him, were doing just that, just looking..

Gerard was pretty sure, that if he didn't get hired to work on LFS in
some way, the project would problaby end up die'ing..or at least, not
advancing as much as it has, as he would not longer have the time to
develop LFS as much as he has had.

IMHO, if Bryan had not hired Gerard to continue developing LFS related
things, i don't know where LFS would be today..but he didn't stop there,
he also hired me (yay!) and has since helped out quite alot on the ALFS
front..and he's in no mood to stop helping out LFS from what i can tell.

Just wanted to add that...i don't think some ppl here, have not heard
that little part of LFS's history. (which was only a few months ago)

Now...all the issues that have been brough so far, has been dealt with in a good
enough way, but what you bring up here is totally different...

Sure, LFS doesn't even _start_ to address the above issues, at least not
in a very good way..but that's being worked on.

Do you want to help out? there's alot of things you can do, we just
opened up a CVS server just for LFS, now hopefully this will help out
other's trying to contribute to LFS in a more managed fashion.
(note: which has _lots_ bandwith and plenty of disk space, a nice home
for a CVS server)

 o LFS Book (bug fixes, ports, etc)
 o LFS Hints/InfoSys (really, anything that should go into a hint)
 o LFS Community slash site
 o LFS mailing list(s)
 o ALFS - Automated LinuxFromScratch

Now... I seriously doubt the LFS Book is going to help out the Mac and
Windows converts because i seriously doubt there all into compiling
software anyways, so i would have to say you problably want to look into
ALFS, as we are automating the process of doing LFS and making it pretty
damn modular.

So... if you want to help out, try another sub-project of LFS, such as the
Hints/InfoSys (which need more developers/maintainers) or the ALFS

One of the main thinks that suck for LFS volunteers right now is lack of
time and resources... here is a small example... (at least, those that
are contributing)

One of the things i'm really interested in (besides ALFS) is porting
LFS to non-x86 hardware, which is kinda hard for me todo, considering i
only own x86 hardware.  So i have been thinking about buying some new
hardware after christmas..this isn't your average new hardware, it's a
Sun Ultra10 Sparc Workstation to help out porting the LFS Book (and sub-projects) to
other non-x86 systems.  There are two others architectures i want to
port LFS to, which are Alpha and StronARM/ARM (ya know..those cute
little NetWinders), but i can only afford a new system like an Ultra10
only once in a while..

(note: Yes, i could buy used..but i want the hardware to last a while
and don't feel safe buying used hardware, especially non-x86 hardware as
my knowledge is limited in that area, hence i don't feel all that bad
spending that much on an Ultra10 ;)

There are two regular LFS'ers that have allready started this process of
porting LFS to other architectures, Ian "GadgetMan" Chilton and Thomas
"Balu" Walter, allthough there biggest problem is there lack of time, as
they have a full time job working on there various projects, and when
they get home..they don't always feel like working on LFS (after all,
they are only volunteers ;)


First, i thank you if you took the time to read all this, and i'm sorry
it was so long..i do hope you understand why i did take the time to
write it and i'm sorry if it seems like a rant/flame (if you think it
is, your more then welcome to email me privatly, but please don't email
the list if so).  I have been very testy in the last while, and i'm
sorry if i offensed anyone, i didn't mean to direct this to anyone in
particular, i just had to get this out.

This is just, In My Humble Opinion, i do not speak on behalf of the
project or anyone else.

"All good things, come to those that wait"

Jesse Tie Ten Quee - highos at highos dot com

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