Linus Torvalds

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All right. I know Linux first then this guy. So funny. Because Linux is known for most of computing students.

I think most of computing students are familiar with Linus and most of them are currently using OS with Linux kernel like Ubuntu and Fedora. In a interview, Linus said he used Fedora distribution because of the good support for the PowerPC processor architecture.

The first prototypes of Linux were publicly released later 1991. In this prototype, Linux is just a OS running commands in the terminal. It does not like some modern OS running under graphical desktop environment. When the desktop environment is included in the Linux then the Version 1.0 wax released(on 14, 1994).

There is a app or software called Git, which is founded by Linus. I knew this software a few years ago but I did not know what it is for. This year we are required to launch a group project and the lecture recommends us to use Git in teamwork. So now I know what it is about.

Bill Joy

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This is the first post about Biographies. I want to write some people who are greatly distributed in the computing, software industry.

The first person i want to talk about is Bill Joy.

Obviously Bill Joy has been well-known computer software engineer or businessman. Bill Joy was born in Detroit, and received a BSEE in electrical engineering from University of Michigan in 1975. He then moved to California and received a M.S. in Electrical Engineering and computer science from the University of California, Berkeley. When I come to this, I found that there are so many people who distributed great achievements are mostly graduated from the University of California, Berkeley.

When he graduated, while at Berkley he played a central role in the development of Berkeley Unix. In the period of it, he created a Vi editor. In 1983 he founded Sun Microsystems, which is the one of the leading software companies in the US. In the company, he served as CEO and chief researcher for Sun until 2003. There is another contribution when he worked in the Sun Microsystems, which is the development of Java programming language. Bill Joy was not directly developing Java. But he inspired Gosling to develop it. James Gosling worked in Sun but left later years.

An ancient Text Editor

There are some posts about a text editor Vim improved from vi editor. When it comes to Vi, there is a guy I have to mention, the Vi creator Bill Joy. Some people may say Bill Joy made Vi just in a week. However, that is not true. Before he made it, he had made some editors like en, em and ex finally becoming Vi. Bill has contributed so much to technology. Forget BSD Unix and NFS first, the Vi editor is the greatest gift to man who are working on this industry.

Vi is the editor included in the release as the part of Second Berkeley Software Distribution in May 1979. Some current implementation of vi can trace their source code ancestry to Bill Joy.

Back to the 1976, Bill enhanced ed editor using the source code from Ken Thompson as the starting point to make the em editor. Inspired by em, and by their own tweaks to ed, Bill and Chuck Haley took code from em to make en, and then extended en to create ex editor. After Haley’s departure, Bruce Englar encouraged Bill to redesign the em, which they did adding a full-srceen visual mode to ex.

Many of the ideas in ex’s visual mode were taken from other software that existed at the time. According to Bill Joy, inspiration for vi’s visual mode came from the Bravo editor.

In my option for editors, there are so many editors we can choose. They have their own special features. Cannot say which is better additionally there is no ‘things’ are better than other ‘things’.

Vim it up(2)

Back to the history of Vim, it was originally written by Bram Moolenaar based on the source for a port of the Stevie editor to the Amiga. Part of Vim’s power or something that attract me is the extensively customised. It can be able to have many plugins such as YouCompleteMe( that is the one i often use). There are three modes in Vim, normal mode, insert mode and visual mode. normal mode for some operations like deletion and replacing. Basically normal mode is the default mode when first time run Vim and this mode allow us to view contents without worry about changing contents by accidents. Insert mode is obviously for inserting contents to the script. If anyone want to quit insert mode just press Esc. Visual mode is for coping or delete contents for an area of contents. Similarly, pressing Esc can take you back to normal mode. The following screenshot is the home page of Vim.

Screen Shot 2017-04-06 at 13.51.00

VIimit up(1)

Using Vim does not feel comfortable at first time even feel strange or wired. It recommend us to move cursor using four keys, h, j, k and l. ‘h’ and ‘l’ for left and right, ‘j’ and ‘k’ for up and down. The reason for this should back to the creation of Vi. When Bill Joy created the Vi text editor he used the ADM-3A terminal.

 

 

We can see there is no arrow keys on that. So i think this is the reason why Bill used hjkl keys for cursor movements. Details on http://www.catonmat.net/blog/why-vim-uses-hjkl-as-arrow-keys/

A Text Editor VIM

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I think every programers working on linux or macOS would be familiar with a text editor, vi or vim. Vim is an advanced text editor that seeks to provide the power of the de-facto Unix editor Vi, with a more complete feature set. It’s useful whether you’re already using vi or using different editor. There are some text editors that can be used in the terminal. I only am familiar with vim, gnu nano and emacs and i think those are most popular text editors in the terminal. The relative posts about vim is not going to cover something like its history. I only want to cover my feeling on using it. Personally, i tend to use vim not because vim is more power or what. This is only because I used vim first. If I use emacs first I may discuss emacs here rather than vim 🙂