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[osx traditional vi] last modified: 03/25/2007 02:04 pm

Installing Traditional vi for OS X

At work, I've been using vi a lot. Not vim, not even nvi, but traditional, old, vi. My boss loves vi and he's uninterested in and gripes about vim, and even though i installed vim on our SCO box, its not on any of the remote boxes.

Surprisingly, over time I've come to like some things about regular vi, (many) warts and all. For one, it has barely any configurability, which means it tends to do things one (known) way - I had to tinker a lot with vim to get it where I don't accidentally bork up files my boss edited. It's fun to work around some of its limitations even.

Traditional vi is hard to find on modern systems, for good reason. It chokes on (not even very) long lines, can't handle big files, doesn't refresh the screen right sometimes (^L is my friend), and has exactly one undo. If you cut a line, and you hit o instead of p, you just lost your paste buffer. But it's nice to know that a very traditional clone remains available. I don't know barely anything about compiling things, but I was able to compile it on OS X by doing this:

cd ex-o50325
vi MAKEFILE
   (edit the INSTALL line to point to /usr/bin/install)
   (comment in the TERMLIB  = termlib line and uncomment #TERMLIB   = ncurses)
make
make install

it put stuff in /usr/local/ which is near the beginning of my path, and calls itself ex and vi, and since I want to probably use vim by default still, i changed the names of the bins, man pages, and links to o<whatever>. There's probably a way to do that in the MAKEFILE, but I don't know what I'm doing in there.




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tags:

osx
traditional
vi