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Re: [Nmh-workers] Ditch autoconf selection of pager?

From: Paul Fox
Subject: Re: [Nmh-workers] Ditch autoconf selection of pager?
Date: Mon, 14 Jan 2013 17:05:52 -0500

ken wrote:
 > >GNU's lame attempts at humour aside, that actually makes sense.  MH
 > >is a line oriented tool, so defaulting to a line oriented editor is
 > >consistent with that.  If the chain Editor: -> $VISUAL -> $EDITOR comes
 > >up empty, ed is a perfectly reasonable default.
 > Ok, this means I get to ask a question of greybeards that I've always
 > wondered about.
 > What is the deal with VISUAL and EDITOR?  I always set EDITOR; I've never
 > set VISUAL.  I've never understood what the difference is.  I'm fine with
 > making the hierarchy Editor: -> $VISUAL -> $EDITOR (and I think a default
 > of 'vi' is fine), but I've always wondered why there are two environment
 > variables.

not all terminals were capable of doing the cursor addressing needed
for any given screen-oriented editor.  so the user was given the ability
to configure two editors -- likely "ed" and "vi", though some folks may
have used emacs or "se" :-).  some programs had separate commands for
invoking the two.  (for instance, see ~e and ~v in the mailx man page.)

 paul fox, address@hidden (arlington, ma, where it's 45.0 degrees)

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