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Posted Mar 22, 2007 21:00 UTC (Thu) by landley (subscriber, #6789)
In reply to: by nix
Parent article: The road to freedom in the embedded world

> You use vi over Emacs because of the *license*?!

No, I use vi over Emacs because learning Lisp never struck me as a
reasonable requirement for a text editor to impose on its' users. (I
don't recommend vi to other people, and I'd have stuck with Joe if it
wasn't so buggy. I still miss qedit under DOS. But vi is ubiquitous and
available.) I used to use microemacs on the Amiga, but microemacs isn't
ubiquitously available on systems I sit down at either, and the big
version's no substitute for it.

> Oh, and GCC was widely used and widely known in the embedded market
> long before Sun's unfortunate C compiler unbundling. Surely you know
> this, what with busybox's embedded penetration...

First I've heard of it. What would that have to do with BusyBox? (Let's
see, Busybox Dates back to 1999, depending on whether you want to count
the project from the abandoned Debian boot disk utility ala Red Hat's
nash, or from Eric Andersen reviving it as an embedded project. That
means Linux predates it by about 8 years, and the Sun thing predates

Seems somewhat unlikely, since up through the 1990's the most common
target of the embedded market, far and away, was the 8-bit Z80. I don't
think gcc even had a target for the 16-bit 8086 before , do you have references?

Maybe you're referring to 68k, ala ?

According to the first
release of gcc was in 1987. (The book "open sources" has more detail but
that sounds about right.) Peter Salus says that the unbundling had
happened (and users had time to react) by the end of 1990:

I know 1990 is about when I first heard of it. Then again, I was looking
for compilers with source code at the time for a DOS project. I believe
I found something like five of them, all of which sucked in different
ways... The one I wound up paying the most attention to was an upgraded
version of the "Small C Compiler" for DOS, a variant of


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Using Emacs requires learning Lisp?

Posted Mar 23, 2007 18:27 UTC (Fri) by GreyWizard (guest, #1026) [Link]

No, I use vi over Emacs because learning Lisp never struck me as a reasonable requirement for a text editor to impose on its' users.

How does editing text with Emacs require learning Lisp? I'll admit that I do know Lisp but I don't often apply that to Emacs. Even when I do I'm experimenting or adding some custom feature, which is not normal use. I appreciate the light footprint and ubiquity of vi and I have no trouble accepting that many people like it better than Emacs, but I hope you have some reasons less silly than this one.

Using Emacs requires learning Lisp?

Posted Mar 26, 2007 12:53 UTC (Mon) by nix (subscriber, #2304) [Link]

Doing anything much with Emacs customization used to require learning Lisp, but this hasn't been true for perhaps a decade. One of the problems with long-lived projects is that they acquire reputations which they then drag around long after they are no longer accurate.

(In any case, it's not as if elisp is very hard to learn, at least not to the depth required to customize Emacs. I learnt that much of it in two hours when I was twelve from the emacs-lisp-intro...)

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