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’.


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