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Thread: Why do people put vi in tutorials?

  1. #61
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    Re: Why do people put vi in tutorials?

    Quote Originally Posted by Paqman View Post
    If you're writing a tutorial that's only going to be of interest to sysadmins, then it would make sense to use tools they were familiar with. But if it's for anybody else, then writing it for vi is just dumb, because most people don't know vi. The point of the exercise is to communicate, if you're not adapting your teaching style to the geek level of your audience, then you're doing it wrong.

    What's the point of even writing a tutorial if you're not doing it in a way that helps the most people? You're just wasting everybody's time.
    What complete conjecture.

    I guess you are the spokesperson for everybody else? If you're not adapting your learning habits, and applying what you already know to what you are being taught, it sounds like more of a reader error than a writer error. The only time wasted I see here is a ridiculous banter over something you could just as easily substitute, or if you didn't know you could substitute, you could ask. Giving a new Linux person a text editor to use is better than saying "your text editor du jour" which, if they are truly new, they probably don't know anything else. Vi is guaranteed to be in any linux or unix distro they may be using, no matter how old, or how new it is. to vi or not to vi is a petty semantic, and telling someone who spends their time documenting a procedure is wasting everybody's time because they used vi is shallow, one-sided, and rude. Your attitude sounds more like you think if YOU have a problem with it, EVERYBODY has a problem with it. The best way to magnify your issues is to make them known, keep them in context, and have people contribute constructively, not blow them out of proportion by trying to be the self-proclaimed spokesperson for a community of individuals.
    Last edited by toupeiro; April 12th, 2009 at 05:25 PM.
    "Its easy to come up with new ideas, the hard part is letting go of what worked for you two years ago, but will soon be out of date." -Roger von Oech

  2. #62
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    Re: Why do people put vi in tutorials?

    Quote Originally Posted by toupeiro View Post
    I guess you are the spokesperson for everybody else?
    No, but it's pretty self-evident that a lot of folks won't have ever used vi, and that it has a very steep learning curve. Do you actually disagree with that?

    Expecting someone who already has a broken system to climb an obscure learning curve just because of your personal preferences is ridiculous. Focus on the user. If they can't achieve the task you're trying to teach it's your fault. That's how teaching works.

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    Re: Why do people put vi in tutorials?

    emacs!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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    Re: Why do people put vi in tutorials?

    Quote Originally Posted by Paqman View Post
    No, but it's pretty self-evident that a lot of folks won't have ever used vi, and that it has a very steep learning curve. Do you actually disagree with that?

    Expecting someone who already has a broken system to climb an obscure learning curve just because of your personal preferences is ridiculous. Focus on the user. If they can't achieve the task you're trying to teach it's your fault. That's how teaching works.
    So I should write documentation that caters to a smaller group by using editors less seen across all distributions because they require less brain and social activity to use? I should lower the bar to a level rather than try to help people get that bar on the next? And its my fault if I don't lower the bar? And we (people in the US) wonder why our scholastic scores are getting lower and lower..

    What kind of brain activity does it take to say "wow, this is text, I dont like vi, I will try <insert text editor here>" or to make a post asking, hey if I use <insert text editor here>, will it work the same as vi? Learning is an interactive sport... You can't teach those who aren't willing to learn. You describe people who want to be told what to do, with no regard as to whether they learn something or not. These are the same people who will severely break their system one day by blindly cutting and pasting commands from a forum with no understanding of what they do. There is value to learning a new tool, and there is value to learning when a tool can be substituted. There is no value, however, in putting down documentation because you don't want to learn how to follow it directly, or apply it to your situation.
    Last edited by toupeiro; April 12th, 2009 at 05:48 PM.
    "Its easy to come up with new ideas, the hard part is letting go of what worked for you two years ago, but will soon be out of date." -Roger von Oech

  5. #65
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    Re: Why do people put vi in tutorials?

    Quote Originally Posted by toupeiro View Post
    You describe people who want to be told what to do
    Yep. That's exactly what a lot of folks want when they're googling for tutorials.

    Remember that the people who use tutorials the most are new users, or those who're still a bit unsteady. This depends of course on what your tutorial is about. If it's uber-techy, then using vi might make sense. But then, even amongst ubernerds, a lot of them hate vi/vim, so that line of thinking doesn't really lead to my happy place either.

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    Re: Why do people put vi in tutorials?

    Quote Originally Posted by Paqman View Post
    Yep. That's exactly what a lot of folks want when they're googling for tutorials.

    Remember that the people who use tutorials the most are new users, or those who're still a bit unsteady. This depends of course on what your tutorial is about. If it's uber-techy, then using vi might make sense. But then, even amongst ubernerds, a lot of them hate vi/vim, so that line of thinking doesn't really lead to my happy place either.
    And there will be documents out there for them, but it doesn't make me, or anyone else, a failure or time waster if we don't choose to predict which text editor they are going to want us to use to find "their happy place.", but rather choose one which we know will be there for them no matter which distro they are using.
    "Its easy to come up with new ideas, the hard part is letting go of what worked for you two years ago, but will soon be out of date." -Roger von Oech

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    Re: Why do people put vi in tutorials?

    Who cares if it's there? They have to know how to use it.

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    Re: Why do people put vi in tutorials?

    Quote Originally Posted by Paqman View Post
    Who cares if it's there? They have to know how to use it.
    Not every user of a given distro will know how to use it, but I can pretty much guarantee that it won't work for anyone if it isn't there.

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    Re: Why do people put vi in tutorials?

    Quote Originally Posted by Paqman View Post
    Who cares if it's there? They have to know how to use it.
    they will care when it says: command not found

    Again, what brain power does it take to substitute vi, or .. to ASK if it can be substituted?
    Last edited by toupeiro; April 12th, 2009 at 05:59 PM.
    "Its easy to come up with new ideas, the hard part is letting go of what worked for you two years ago, but will soon be out of date." -Roger von Oech

  10. #70
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    Re: Why do people put vi in tutorials?

    Quote Originally Posted by toupeiro View Post
    Again, what brain power does it take to substitute vi, or .. to ASK if it can be substituted?
    It's not about brain power. It's about experience. If you want to write tutorials that are usable only be people with a certian level of knowledge, then that's fine. But don't write for newbies and use vi.

    Just to put some perspective on this argument:

    Debian popularity contest stats for vim

    Sure, loads of folks have some form of this editor installed, but most never use it. So you wouldn't expect any of those people to have any proficiency with it. These people aren't thick, they just don't use it.

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