[arch-dev-public] Dropping vi and adding vim-minimal to the installation image

Evangelos Foutras evangelos at foutrelis.com
Wed Apr 22 00:58:36 UTC 2015

On 22/04/15 02:57, Allan McRae wrote:
> On 22/04/15 08:55, Evangelos Foutras wrote:
>> By the way, it's worth noting that vim-minimal has a footprint of about
>> 30 MiB. It's not much, but compared to nano's 2 MiB, it's way larger.
>> I'm probably repeating what I've written in my previous posts, but to me
>> the cleanest implementation is to have one tiny editor in [core] as part
>> of the base installation (nano), and use that as the fallack for the
>> five or so programs that used to default to vi.
>> Adding a second, much larger, editor in [core] and base (vim) just so
>> that it can be made the default fallback, seems kind of unnecessary.
> If nano was not in base, what do you think the install proportion would be?
> This is mainly for consistency.  I could not find another distribution
> where visudo does not call /usr/bin/vi by default (and I saw that
> provided by vim-minimal a lot).

We're faced with the dilemma of which editor to use as a fallback for a
handful of applications. I shouldn't have used the term "default" as it
can be incorrectly interpreted as "We're changing the default editor".

Yes, we could certainly move vim-minimal to [core]. The downsides would
be 1) a 30 MiB increase in the size of the standard installation and 2)
having to maintain a package across two repositories. Both are somewhat
minor issues, of course.

While I prefer and do use vim myself, the extra complexity introduced by
maintaining a second editor in [core] isn't justified, considering one
can simply install vim, specify set VISUAL=vim and delete nano if they wish.

I feel a stronger case would need to be made for moving vim-minimal to
[core]. At the moment we're only trying to figure out a sane fallback
editor, mostly for visudo and I guess cronie's crontab. nano seems to
fit the bill and requires no additional packages in [core] or base.

(The fact that visudo has 'vi' in its name isn't a valid argument. :P)

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