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From: la...@kitty.UUCP (Larry Lippman)
Newsgroups: net.text,net.unix
Subject: Use of ``vi'' for business office word-processing
Message-ID: <1246@kitty.UUCP>
Date: Thu, 4-Sep-86 01:11:22 EDT
Article-I.D.: kitty.1246
Posted: Thu Sep  4 01:11:22 1986
Date-Received: Sun, 7-Sep-86 20:21:50 EDT
Organization: Recognition Research Corp., Clarence, NY
Lines: 33
Keywords: ``vi'' word-processing non-programmers


	On occasion I get asked for my opinion on computer systems for small
business applications.  Since 100% of my computer applications are scientific
in nature (which is pretty far afield from business applications), I try to
avoid giving business applications advice (except to go UNIX :-) ).  However,
sometimes I cannot avoid getting involved...
	In addition to programming, I do an extensive amount of document
preparation.  On UNIX systems I use ``vi'' _exclusively_ for document editing,
and use nroff and troff for formatting when required.  If I am using a letter
quality printer with justification capability, often I will imbed justification
commands and other printer commands in the text file and not use nroff or troff.
	In my humble :-) opinion, I cannot think of any editor more universally
useful than ``vi'' (yes, I know about Emacs, but I still prefer ``vi''). 
	So my question is: Am I WRONG in advising people to stay with ``vi''
and not spend money for "word-processing software" in the BUSINESS APPLICATION
environment?
	In my travels I have taken a cursory look at various word-processing
packages for UNIX machines, and do not find their operation or command set any
more intuitive than ``vi''.  I am certain that some people will disagree with
me on this issue; so, tell me, what are the ADVANTAGES of word-processing
software (like Lyric, Wordstar, etc.) over the standard UNIX editing/formatting
utilities in the business-only environment?
	At the moment I am being compelled to offer an opinion on a computer
system for a medium-sized law office; they want to start out small, and do
not want to spend the money for a law office automation system (like a product
of Barrister Information Systems).  For three or four secretaries (and to allow
for growth), I am inclined to recommend a 3B2 or NCR Tower XP as the most
COST-EFFECTIVE means of implementing a multi-user system.  Comments, anyone?

==>  Larry Lippman @ Recognition Research Corp., Clarence, New York
==>  UUCP:  {allegra|decvax|rocksanne|rocksvax|watmath}!sunybcs!kitty!larry
==>  VOICE: 716/688-1231           {hplabs|ihnp4|seismo|utzoo}!/
==>  FAX:   716/741-9635 {G1,G2,G3}      "Have you hugged your cat today?" 

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Path: utzoo!mnetor!seismo!caip!cbmvax!higgin
From: hig...@cbmvax.cbm.UUCP (Paul Higginbottom)
Newsgroups: net.text,net.unix
Subject: Re: Use of ``vi'' for business office word-processing
Message-ID: <709@cbmvax.cbmvax.cbm.UUCP>
Date: Sun, 7-Sep-86 23:44:15 EDT
Article-I.D.: cbmvax.709
Posted: Sun Sep  7 23:44:15 1986
Date-Received: Mon, 8-Sep-86 05:44:34 EDT
References: <1246@kitty.UUCP>
Reply-To: hig...@cbmvax.UUCP (Paul Higginbottom)
Organization: Commodore Technology, West Chester, PA
Lines: 53
Keywords: ``vi'' word-processing non-programmers

In article <1...@kitty.UUCP> la...@kitty.UUCP (Larry Lippman) writes:
>	On occasion I get asked for my opinion on computer systems for small
>business applications.  Since 100% of my computer applications are scientific
>in nature (which is pretty far afield from business applications), I try to
>avoid giving business applications advice (except to go UNIX :-) ).  However,
>sometimes I cannot avoid getting involved...
>	In addition to programming, I do an extensive amount of document
>preparation.  On UNIX systems I use ``vi'' _exclusively_ for document editing,
>and use nroff and troff for formatting when required.  
...
>	So my question is: Am I WRONG in advising people to stay with ``vi''
>and not spend money for "word-processing software" in the BUSINESS APPLICATION
>environment?
...
>==>  Larry Lippman @ Recognition Research Corp., Clarence, New York
>==>  UUCP:  {allegra|decvax|rocksanne|rocksvax|watmath}!sunybcs!kitty!larry
>==>  VOICE: 716/688-1231           {hplabs|ihnp4|seismo|utzoo}!/
>==>  FAX:   716/741-9635 {G1,G2,G3}      "Have you hugged your cat today?" 

Yes, I think you're wrong.  Secretaries don't have time, nor do they usually
want to learn something like Unix.  They will prefer EVERY TIME something
which works as similarly as possible to their typewriter.

The combination of vi, nroff, troff, etc., and the Unix utilities do provide,
for those that are computer literate or will take quite a lot of time to
learn, a great deal of flexibility.

In the business environment - people rarely need that much flexibility (in
wordprocessing anyway - order processing or other similar applications are
a whole other ball game where they need infinite flexibility).  What they
want is simplicity, reliability, and the minimum of hassle.

I personally would suggest getting each person an IBM-PC compatible type of
machine.  There's a million and one different word processors for it, and
some are extremely nice to use, definitely with the comuter-illiterate in
mind.  They ACT like typewriters, but the secretary CAN at his/her pace learn
to use mail merge, sorts, search/replace, type of features later.

To say to someone "Hi, I'm going to teach you Unix, vi, nroff, troff, grep,
pipes, c-shell, sort, eqn, tbl, xyz, and pqr just to make your life
easier" and they'll say forget it, I don't have two months, I'll stick with
my typewriter.

	Hope this helps,
		Paul.

P.S - remember, even if they get PC's they can still network, share
hard disks, printers, etc.  True they won't have electronic mail, but I
personally think Unix has a long way to go before it will really be
palatable in the normal business environment.  Don't get me wrong though,
*I* LOVE Unix.

Disclaimer: They opinions are my own.

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Path: utzoo!mnetor!seismo!lll-crg!nike!cit-vax!elroy!smeagol!usc-oberon!sdcrdcf!randvax!richter
From: rich...@randvax.UUCP (Susan Richter)
Newsgroups: net.text,net.unix
Subject: Re: Use of ``vi'' for business office word-processing
Message-ID: <510@randvax.UUCP>
Date: Mon, 8-Sep-86 13:46:19 EDT
Article-I.D.: randvax.510
Posted: Mon Sep  8 13:46:19 1986
Date-Received: Thu, 11-Sep-86 08:49:38 EDT
References: <1246@kitty.UUCP>
Reply-To: rich...@rand-unix.UUCP (Susan Richter)
Organization: Rand Corp., Santa Monica
Lines: 34
Keywords: ``vi'' word-processing non-programmers

In article <1...@kitty.UUCP> la...@kitty.UUCP (Larry Lippman) writes:
>
>	In my humble :-) opinion, I cannot think of any editor more universally
>useful than ``vi'' (yes, I know about Emacs, but I still prefer ``vi''). 

I agree.  I've continued to use vi in preference to such editors as Emacs
and the Rand editor 'e' (actually, I think I'm the only person working at
Rand who does use vi!).  Maybe it's because I use my editor for editing, not
compilation, graphics, AI, text formatting, etc.  The simpler, the better.

One of the winning features of vi is its use of normal alphabetic
characters as commands, so that when you are on some non-standard
keyboard, everything still works (ESC is sometimes the only problem --
there *are* keyboards with no ESC character!).  Editors which are heavily
dependent on the function keys of a specific keyboard (not that I'm thinking
of any *particular* editor! :-) tend to be a real pain to use on others.

>	So my question is: Am I WRONG in advising people to stay with ``vi''
>and not spend money for "word-processing software" in the BUSINESS APPLICATION
>environment?
	
I'm not that familiar with "business application" environments, but I did
have the idea that most small businesses that plunge into office automation
go with PCs (that's a generic term, OK?), and they use Wordstar, Microsoft
Word, or other similar WP package.  Those seem to be much easier for
non-computer people to learn than vi (or any Unix editor, for that matter).
If, however, your people are really going with Unix, I would also recommend
staying with vi.  Like I said:  the simpler, the better.

			- Susan Richter
			rich...@rand-unix.uucp
			...trwrb!randvax!richter

These opinions are certainly not official Rand opinions.  Certainly not.

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Path: utzoo!mnetor!seismo!lll-crg!lll-lcc!pyramid!amdahl!fai!stevem
From: ste...@fai.UUCP (Steve Minneman)
Newsgroups: net.text,net.unix
Subject: Re: Use of ``vi'' for business office word-processing
Message-ID: <344@fai.UUCP>
Date: Tue, 9-Sep-86 15:25:20 EDT
Article-I.D.: fai.344
Posted: Tue Sep  9 15:25:20 1986
Date-Received: Wed, 10-Sep-86 19:53:38 EDT
References: <1246@kitty.UUCP> <709@cbmvax.cbmvax.cbm.UUCP>
Reply-To: ste...@fai.UUCP (Steve Minneman)
Organization: Fujitsu America, Inc.
Lines: 39
Keywords: ``vi'' word-processing non-programmers

>In article <1...@kitty.UUCP> la...@kitty.UUCP (Larry Lippman) writes:
>...
>>	So my question is: Am I WRONG in advising people to stay with ``vi''
>>and not spend money for "word-processing software" in the BUSINESS 
>>APPLICATION environment?

In article <7...@cbmvax.cbmvax.cbm.UUCP> hig...@cbmvax.UUCP (Paul Higginbottom) writes:
>
>Yes, I think you're wrong.  Secretaries don't have time, nor do they usually
>want to learn something like Unix.  They will prefer EVERY TIME something
>which works as similarly as possible to their typewriter.
>
>...
>
>I personally would suggest getting each person an IBM-PC compatible type of
>machine.  There's a million and one different word processors for it, and
>some are extremely nice to use, definitely with the comuter-illiterate in
>mind.  They ACT like typewriters, but the secretary CAN at his/her pace learn
>to use mail merge, sorts, search/replace, type of features later.
>
>...


I agree with Paul in every respect, except for buying a PC for everyone.
It's tough if not impossible to teach many people who want to only edit
documents how to use an editor, a text formatter, and all the system commands.
However, this is no reason to run the extra expense of buying all those PCs
-- there are some excellent "word-processing" packages such as LEX-11
available under both UNIX and VMS for machines such as VAXEN.  If you put your
word-processing software on the VAX (or similiar machine) you can teach casua
users of this software how to access it with mimimal interaction with other
commands and the operating system and yet allow them access to the additional
power of the larger machine when and if they so desire to learn and use it.-- 
---

		Steven A. Minneman (Fujitsu America Inc, San Jose, Ca)
		!seismo!amdahl!fai!stevem  or !ihnp4!pesnta!fai!stevem

The best government is no government at all.

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From: r...@phri.UUCP
Newsgroups: net.text,net.unix
Subject: Re: Use of ``vi'' for business office word-processing
Message-ID: <2433@phri.UUCP>
Date: Wed, 10-Sep-86 11:16:23 EDT
Article-I.D.: phri.2433
Posted: Wed Sep 10 11:16:23 1986
Date-Received: Thu, 11-Sep-86 18:41:07 EDT
References: <1246@kitty.UUCP> <141@rayssd.UUCP>
Reply-To: r...@phri.UUCP (Roy Smith)
Organization: Public Health Research Inst. (NY, NY)
Lines: 35
Summary: for non-techies, stay away from UNIX


	If you asked me this question a few years ago, I would have said to
go ahead and teach your business-types how to deal with unix.  I've spent
the past 5 or so years running unix systems (used at least 50% for word
processing) in a place where only a few people know anything about
computers.  Yes, we've gotten secretaries who can barely deal with
automatic teller machines to learn enough emacs (and before that, ed!) and
nroff and neqn to get their stuff done.

	Was it worth it?  I'm not sure.  Most of the people have learned
most of what they know by rote, and can't deal with any variations.  Right
now (no kidding) I can hear two people in the next room: "what's this EQ
and EN stuff?"

	We do scientific writing here -- that means lots of eqn stuff,
tables using tbl, and references using bib.  I don't honestly know of any
other system that would suit our needs, and we've looked at a lot of
systems.  So far, Interleaf seems the best competition, but we can't touch
the price tag.

	Over the past year or two, I've come to realize that I've probably
been more gung-ho about unix that it deserves.  Don't get me wrong, for a
programming environment, I wouldn't pick anything but unix.  For high
quality technical publishing, with properly trained users, I'd probably
still go with unix (we've just ordered TeX, which I expect to be an
improvement over troff, but still not a panacea).  But for a lot of the
routine stuff that gets done around here like business letters and memos,
unix is just too much overkill, and too much stuff to learn.  If it wasn't
for the fact that these secretaries had to learn troff anyway to deal with
scientific manuscripts, I would say we'd be better off with something like
MacWrite or WordStar or whatever on some sort of PC.
-- 
Roy Smith, {allegra,philabs}!phri!roy
System Administrator, Public Health Research Institute
455 First Avenue, New York, NY 10016

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Path: utzoo!utcs!utfyzx!harrison
From: harri...@utfyzx.UUCP
Newsgroups: net.text,net.unix
Subject: Re: Use of ``vi'' for business office word-processing
Message-ID: <1986Sep10.070531.15353@utfyzx.uucp>
Date: Wed, 10-Sep-86 07:05:31 EDT
Article-I.D.: utfyzx.1986Sep10.070531.15353
Posted: Wed Sep 10 07:05:31 1986
Date-Received: Wed, 10-Sep-86 19:16:43 EDT
References: <1246@kitty.UUCP>
Reply-To: harri...@utfyzx.UUCP (David Harrison)
Organization: Dept. of Physics, Univ. of Toronto
Lines: 28
Keywords: ``vi'' word-processing non-programmers

In article <1...@kitty.UUCP> la...@kitty.UUCP (Larry Lippman) writes:
>	So my question is: Am I WRONG in advising people to stay with ``vi''
>and not spend money for "word-processing software" in the BUSINESS APPLICATION
>environment?

I have been involved in word-processing in the Physics Dept.  Because
of the math requirements, WYSIWIG's were pretty well excluded, so we
used eqn, tbl, and troff.  Once the decision to use an embedded-command
WP system was made, we had to teach our secretaries an editor, and
found that there was little problem in using "vi".  So, I would tend to
say that you are not wrong.  As to WYSIWIG vs. embedded-command WP
systems, net.text is the appropritate forum for that discussion.

However:  we also found that teaching "vi" first led to some blocks
in our users learning naked UNIX that were removed if we taught
them "ed" first.  This is now pretty general for me: I teach users
good-old "ed", and when they are fairly comfortable show them "vi".
Thus, they get exposed to UNIX regular expressions, etc., before
going full-screen.  ( I also use sh, not csh, to give you some idea
of my prejudices in these matters. )

I suspect that the success of our teaching of "ed" was partly aided
by the fact that we use the "U of T Zoology" version of it, which
includes an excellent line-editing mode, browsing commands, and other
nice features.  I've never tried to teach a naive user vanilla ed.
-- 
    David Harrison, Dept. of Physics, Univ. of Toronto
    {ihnp4,utzoo}!utcs!utfyzx!harrison

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Path: utzoo!henry
From: he...@utzoo.UUCP (Henry Spencer)
Newsgroups: net.text,net.unix
Subject: Re: Use of ``vi'' for business office word-processing
Message-ID: <7118@utzoo.UUCP>
Date: Thu, 11-Sep-86 15:06:01 EDT
Article-I.D.: utzoo.7118
Posted: Thu Sep 11 15:06:01 1986
Date-Received: Thu, 11-Sep-86 15:06:01 EDT
References: <1246@kitty.UUCP> <709@cbmvax.cbmvax.cbm.UUCP>, <344@fai.UUCP>
Organization: U of Toronto Zoology
Lines: 14
Keywords: ``vi'' word-processing non-programmers

> -- there are some excellent "word-processing" packages such as LEX-11
> available under both UNIX and VMS for machines such as VAXEN...

I don't quarrel with the general assertion, but the example seems dubious.
A group here at U of T evaluated LEX-11 for a while.  Their overall comments
on it were pretty much unprintable.  One thing that was very conspicuous
was that the software was not written with Unix in mind, and the port to
Unix was done very sloppily with no attempt to revise any of the decisions
to match the new environment.  They rejected it vehemently.  Mind you,
quite possibly it has improved since then -- this was several years ago.
"Try before buy."
-- 
				Henry Spencer @ U of Toronto Zoology
				{allegra,ihnp4,decvax,pyramid}!utzoo!henry

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Path: utzoo!watmath!clyde!cbatt!ihnp4!ih1ap!sja
From: s...@ih1ap.UUCP (Steve Alesch)
Newsgroups: net.text,net.unix
Subject: Re: Use of ``vi'' for business office word-processing
Message-ID: <575@ih1ap.UUCP>
Date: Fri, 12-Sep-86 00:19:25 EDT
Article-I.D.: ih1ap.575
Posted: Fri Sep 12 00:19:25 1986
Date-Received: Sat, 13-Sep-86 04:24:14 EDT
References: <1246@kitty.UUCP> <709@cbmvax.cbmvax.cbm.UUCP> <344@fai.UUCP>
Organization: AT&T Bell Labs, Naperville, IL
Lines: 20
Keywords: ``vi'' word-processing non-programmers
Summary: a $300,000 system for a 3 secretary law office????

In article <3...@fai.UUCP>, ste...@fai.UUCP (Steve Minneman) writes:
...
> I agree with Paul in every respect, except for buying a PC for everyone.
> It's tough if not impossible to teach many people who want to only edit
> documents how to use an editor, a text formatter, and all the system commands.
> However, this is no reason to run the extra expense of buying all those PCs
> -- there are some excellent "word-processing" packages such as LEX-11
> available under both UNIX and VMS for machines such as VAXEN.  If you put your
> word-processing software on the VAX (or similiar machine) you can teach casua
> users of this software how to access it with mimimal interaction with other
> commands and the operating system and yet allow them access to the additional
> power of the larger machine when and if they so desire to learn and use it.-- 
> ---

Come on, get serious!!!  Your suggesting a 3 secretary law office needs
a $300,000 system!!!
-- 

Steve Alesch	AT&T
(312)510-7881, ...!ihnp4!ih1ap!sja

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Path: utzoo!mnetor!seismo!ll-xn!cit-vax!amdahl!fai!stevem
From: ste...@fai.UUCP (Steve Minneman)
Newsgroups: net.text,net.unix
Subject: Re: Use of ``vi'' for business office word-processing
Message-ID: <362@fai.UUCP>
Date: Mon, 15-Sep-86 14:26:43 EDT
Article-I.D.: fai.362
Posted: Mon Sep 15 14:26:43 1986
Date-Received: Fri, 19-Sep-86 22:12:39 EDT
References: <1246@kitty.UUCP> <709@cbmvax.cbmvax.cbm.UUCP> <344@fai.UUCP> <575@ih1ap.UUCP>
Reply-To: ste...@fai.UUCP (Steve Minneman)
Organization: Fujitsu America, Inc.
Lines: 36
Keywords: ``vi'' word-processing non-programmers

>>In article <3...@fai.UUCP>, I wrote:
>>...
>> I agree with Paul in every respect, except for buying a PC for everyone.
>> It's tough if not impossible to teach many people who want to only edit
>> documents how to use an editor, a text formatter, and all the system 
>> commands.  However, this is no reason to run the extra expense of buying all
>> those PCs -- there are some excellent "word-processing" packages such as
>> LEX-11 available under both UNIX and VMS for machines such as VAXEN.  If you
>> put your word-processing software on the VAX (or similar machine) you can
>> teach casual users of this software how to access it with mimimal
>> interaction with other commands and the operating system and yet allow them
>> access to the additional power of the larger machine when and if they so
>> desire to learn and use it.
>> ---
>In article <5...@ih1ap.UUCP> s...@ih1ap.UUCP (Steve Alesch) writes:
>
>Come on, get serious!!!  Your [sic] suggesting a 3 secretary law office needs
>a $300,000 system!!!
>-- 

Read what I wrote again.  Point one is that you can get a Vax for under
$30,000.  There is no reason to pay $300,000.  The second point is that I
didn't say go out and buy a Vax.  I said don't go out and buy a PC for
everyone.  If you have a mini that will serve the same purpose as buying
numerous PCs and that mini has excess capacity, use it.  If you want to go
out and spend $300,000 for a mid-range Vax that will serve 40 to 50 users
for the sole use of 3 people, that's up to you; but, I sure wouldn't.


-- 
---

		Steven A. Minneman (Fujitsu America Inc, San Jose, Ca)
		!seismo!amdahl!fai!stevem  or !ihnp4!pesnta!fai!stevem

The best government is no government at all.

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Path: utzoo!mnetor!seismo!uwvax!husc6!panda!genrad!decvax!dartvax!uvm-gen!hartley
From: hart...@uvm-gen.UUCP (Stephen J. Hartley)
Newsgroups: net.text,net.unix
Subject: Re: Re: Use of ``vi'' for business office word-processing
Message-ID: <382@uvm-gen.UUCP>
Date: Tue, 16-Sep-86 07:58:38 EDT
Article-I.D.: uvm-gen.382
Posted: Tue Sep 16 07:58:38 1986
Date-Received: Sat, 20-Sep-86 02:08:43 EDT
References: <1986Sep10.070531.15353@utfyzx.uucp>
Organization: University of Vermont (780a)
Lines: 11

> Keywords: ``vi'' word-processing non-programmers
> Xref: dartvax net.text:1148 net.unix:8174
> 
> I have been involved in word-processing in the Physics Dept.  Because
> of the math requirements, WYSIWIG's were pretty well excluded, so we
> used eqn, tbl, and troff.  Once the decision to use an embedded-command
> WP system was made, we had to teach our secretaries an editor, and
> found that there was little problem in using "vi".
>
The secretaries at the University of Virginia had no trouble learning basic
Unix, files, vi, tbl, eqn, and troff.

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Path: utzoo!mnetor!seismo!uwvax!husc6!panda!genrad!decvax!decwrl!sun!guy
From: g...@sun.UUCP
Newsgroups: net.text,net.unix
Subject: (Re:)^50 Use of ``vi'' for business office word-processing
Message-ID: <7467@sun.uucp>
Date: Sat, 20-Sep-86 00:43:53 EDT
Article-I.D.: sun.7467
Posted: Sat Sep 20 00:43:53 1986
Date-Received: Sat, 20-Sep-86 20:56:01 EDT
Organization: Sun Microsystems, Inc.
Lines: 50

In article <N...@host.domain>, First M. I. Last writes:

> ... at site X, the secretaries had no trouble learning "vi", "eqn",
> "troff", ...

The fact that somebody *can*, without too much difficulty, learn to use tool
X to perform task Y does *not* imply that tool X is the most appropriate
tool for task Y, even if it's not much more dificult than using tool Z.  A
user, technical or not, may be more productive preparing documents with tool
Z rather than tool X, regardless of the relative difficulties of using tools
X and Z.

It sometimes seems that the ease or difficulty of using some tool correlates
far strongly with how familiar you are with that tool than with some
"objective" measure of ease of use.  Person X finds "vi" more useful than
"emacs" because they're more familiar with it and their brain has become
accustomed to its peculiarities.  This does not, in any way, mean "vi" is
better than "emacs"; for any choice of tools X and Z for which somebody
asserts that they find X "better" than Z, you can almost certainly find
somebody else who finds Z better than X.

The only conclusion you can draw from this is that both statements "X is
always better than Z" and "Z is always better than X" are false, since you
have now found at least one counterexample to the claims made by each of
those statements.

As such, we can now conclude that the claims that:

	1) non-technical users can't productively use "vi" and "nroff"

	2) "vi" and "nroff" are objectively better than WYSIWYG systems

are both false.  It seems the only knowledge we've gained is 1) that no
blanket statement about the merits of various approaches to word processing
is true and 2) there are specific things that the various approaches to WP
excel in.  If nobody has anything to add that teaches us anything *new*,
rather than merely providing further confirming instances in support of what
(as stated here) we already know, further discussion seems pointless.

(This debate has also included arguments about the relative merits of
single-user and multi-user systems, and of UNIX systems vs. IBM PCs running
MS-DOS vs. Macintoshes vs. Amigas vs..., none of which are germane to the
original quesion, which concerned the relative merits of "vi", "nroff", and
company vs. various WYSIWYG packages.  You can get non-formatting editors
and non-editing formatters for the IBM PC - you can even get "vi" for the
IBM PC, I think - and you can get WYSIWYG editors for UNIX.)
-- 
	Guy Harris
	{ihnp4, decvax, seismo, decwrl, ...}!sun!guy
	g...@sun.com (or g...@sun.arpa)






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From: p...@saber.UUCP (Phil Gustafson)
Newsgroups: net.text,net.unix
Subject: Re: Use of ``vi'' for business office word-processing
Message-ID: <2046@saber.UUCP>
Date: Tue, 23-Sep-86 14:51:55 EDT
Article-I.D.: saber.2046
Posted: Tue Sep 23 14:51:55 1986
Date-Received: Tue, 23-Sep-86 23:27:53 EDT
References: <1246@kitty.UUCP> <141@rayssd.UUCP> <2433@phri.UUCP>
Organization: Saber Technology, San Jose, CA
Lines: 23

> Don't get me wrong, for a
> programming environment, I wouldn't pick anything but unix.
> ...  But for a lot of the
> routine stuff that gets done around here like business letters and memos,
> unix is just too much overkill, and too much stuff to learn.  
> ... I would say we'd be better off with something like
> MacWrite or WordStar or whatever on some sort of PC.
> -- 
> Roy Smith, {allegra,philabs}!phri!roy

Security is another important issue.  Much clerical data (pay rates, customer
lists, job evaluations) is much safer on a floppy disk in a drawer than on a
UNIX system.  Only constant vigilance can keep any UNIX system secure, and
that vigilance is most unlikely in an office environment.
-- 
---------------------------------------------------------
All opinions except attributed quotations are mine alone.
Satirical comments may not be specifically identified as such.
--
Phil Gustafson			Voice:	(408)435-8600
Saber Technology Corp.
2381 Bering Drive		Mail:	decwrl!sun!saber!phil
San Jose, CA 95131			idi!saber!phil

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From: b...@bu-cs.BU.EDU (Barry Shein)
Newsgroups: net.text,net.unix
Subject: (Re:)^50 Use of ``vi'' for business office word-processing
Message-ID: <1413@bu-cs.bu-cs.BU.EDU>
Date: Tue, 23-Sep-86 16:23:20 EDT
Article-I.D.: bu-cs.1413
Posted: Tue Sep 23 16:23:20 1986
Date-Received: Wed, 24-Sep-86 22:20:32 EDT
Organization: Boston U. Comp. Sci.
Lines: 33


From: g...@sun.UUCP
>If nobody has anything to add that teaches us anything *new*,
>rather than merely providing further confirming instances in support of what
>(as stated here) we already know, further discussion seems pointless.

Ok, is this new?:

I'd like some references on experiments etc done in this area, surely
someone in the field of human factors engineering, psychology or theology
must have approached this question using some simple experimental models?

For example, I was told of a paper a while back done within Bell Labs
(probably late 70's) where they brought in some outside researchers to
measure some things about UNIX and some of the editors. If I remember
right they gathered a few different experience groups and plotted
learning curves for various tasks using UNIX/ed. This was repeated
using more mnemonic and less mnemonic commands (I believe they also
tried 'anti-mnemonic', that is, like having the command 'copy' delete
something.)  As I remember it was done at the request of some warring
groups w/in the Labs, some of which wanted to leave UNIX as is and
others who insisted that commands be made more mnemonic (I believe the
results of the paper were consistent with current history, it made
very little difference to the learning curves.)

Does anyone know of the whereabouts of this report? Similar things
they could recommend? It certainly doesn't have to be UNIX, just stuff
like O/A.

I presume a biblio coming out of this discussion will help make it all
worthwhile. I'll look around also.

	-Barry Shein, Boston University

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From: u...@bsiao.UUCP (Uul Haanstra)
Newsgroups: net.text,net.unix
Subject: Re: Use of ``vi'' for business office word-processing
Message-ID: <189@bsiao.UUCP>
Date: Thu, 25-Sep-86 09:10:17 EDT
Article-I.D.: bsiao.189
Posted: Thu Sep 25 09:10:17 1986
Date-Received: Fri, 26-Sep-86 01:14:48 EDT
References: <1413@bu-cs.bu-cs.BU.EDU>
Organization: Postbank N.V., Amsterdam
Lines: 25

> For example, I was told of a paper a while back done within Bell Labs
> (probably late 70's) where they brought in some outside researchers to
> measure some things about UNIX and some of the editors. If I remember
> right they gathered a few different experience groups and plotted
> ... 
> Does anyone know of the whereabouts of this report? Similar things
> they could recommend? It certainly doesn't have to be UNIX, just stuff
> like O/A.
> 
I have seen such an article in the Communications of the ACM, in the
first quarter of 1985. I'm not sure as to which issue, since they
don't have the C of the ACM where I work now.

The conclusion was, I believe, that some differences could be
measured between systems with meaningful commands, and those without.
The ones with counterintuitive commands were especially bad. Best
were those with several synonyms: one could pick one's favorite
command

-- 
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Uul Haanstra, Postbank N.V. Amsterdam                ...!mcvax!bsiao!uh
              Pb 21009
	      1000 EX AMSTERDAM                         +31-20 584 3312
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

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Path: utzoo!henry
From: he...@utzoo.UUCP (Henry Spencer)
Newsgroups: net.text,net.unix
Subject: Re: Use of ``vi'' for business office word-processing
Message-ID: <7154@utzoo.UUCP>
Date: Fri, 26-Sep-86 17:07:39 EDT
Article-I.D.: utzoo.7154
Posted: Fri Sep 26 17:07:39 1986
Date-Received: Fri, 26-Sep-86 17:07:39 EDT
References: <1246@kitty.UUCP> <141@rayssd.UUCP> <2433@phri.UUCP>, <2046@saber.UUCP>
Organization: U of Toronto Zoology
Lines: 24

> Security is another important issue.  Much clerical data (pay rates, customer
> lists, job evaluations) is much safer on a floppy disk in a drawer than on a
> UNIX system.  Only constant vigilance can keep any UNIX system secure, and
> that vigilance is most unlikely in an office environment.

However, that data won't stay on floppies.  Sooner or later the office will
discover how wonderful hard disks are compared to floppies.  Somewhat later
they will discover how much time is saved by networking.  And then we're
back to the same old situation:  sensitive data must be kept on floppy to
be secure, but only constant vigilance will ensure that this is really done
when the alternatives are so much less hassle.

Actually, only constant vigilance is going to keep anything really secure.
What sort of drawer are those floppies in?  Is it locked?  Always?  Is the
lock the type you can open with a paper clip?  How many people are allowed
in the room (if it's a general office, probably a great many)?  Who has keys?
How many people who've left the company still have keys?  Is all this really
relevant, when the disks are probably sitting in an unlocked floppy box
beside the machine because it's too much hassle to constantly dig them out
of the locked drawer?  Security *demands* constant vigilance of the people
involved, regardless of the nature of the system.
-- 
				Henry Spencer @ U of Toronto Zoology
				{allegra,ihnp4,decvax,pyramid}!utzoo!henry

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From: m...@cbosgd.ATT.COM (Mark Horton)
Newsgroups: net.text,net.unix
Subject: Re: Use of ``vi'' for business office word-processing
Message-ID: <2638@cbosgd.ATT.COM>
Date: Mon, 29-Sep-86 17:03:16 EDT
Article-I.D.: cbosgd.2638
Posted: Mon Sep 29 17:03:16 1986
Date-Received: Tue, 30-Sep-86 20:58:18 EDT
References: <1413@bu-cs.bu-cs.BU.EDU> <189@bsiao.UUCP>
Organization: AT&T Bell Laboratories, Columbus, Oh
Lines: 50
Summary: it wasn't the CACM paper

In article <1...@bsiao.UUCP> u...@bsiao.UUCP (Uul Haanstra) writes:
>> For example, I was told of a paper a while back done within Bell Labs
>> (probably late 70's) where they brought in some outside researchers to
>> measure some things about UNIX and some of the editors. If I remember
>> right they gathered a few different experience groups and plotted
>> 
>I have seen such an article in the Communications of the ACM, in the

The paper in CACM isn't the one being referred to.  The Bell Labs
paper was by Merle Poller and Susan Garter in 1983.  That's an
internal version; I think it was published somewhere externally too.
And I think there were different versions.

The paper (I have it in front of me) compared experienced vi, emacs,
and ed users.  (This makes the validity questionable, the type of
person who uses ed is different from the type of person who uses vi
or emacs, especially in 1983 before everyone had vi.)  It found that
vi and emacs were much better than ed, but close to each other.  One
surprising result was that the vi group made fewer mistakes than the
emacs group.  (Apparently the emacs in question is Montgomery's.)

Other conclusions:

The vi type editor is the choice for editing from marked-up hard copy.
[This is because you're mostly typing commands, which are usually
lower case letters, often on the home row.]

An emacs type editor is the choice for free composing at the terminal.
It is also the choice for editing that primarily involves many small,
close-together insertions.  [This is because you're in "input mode" most
of the time, and not having to switch modes to fix typos you just made
is an advantage.]

Screen editors are preferable to line editors for editing from marked-up
hard copy and for composing at the terminal.  However, an ed-type
editor has some speed advantages in certain situations.  It is the
editor of choice for making a few simple editing changes to an existing
file.  [This is because ed is small and doesn't display output, so on
a heavily loaded 16 bit machine without enough RAM that swaps itself
silly, you'll get faster response.  For creating a 4 line text file,
I go one step further and use "cat > file" as my editor, unless the
system is nice and unloaded.]

The arguments about number of keystrokes, mode errors, etc tended
to pretty much be a wash.  The vi group was a bit faster and more
accurate, but they tended to be less willing to go back and fix a
typo, preferring to go back later and fix it.  Evidently it was
too much work to go into/out of input mode.

	Mark

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From: p...@saber.UUCP (Phil Gustafson)
Newsgroups: net.text,net.unix
Subject: Re: Use of ``vi'' for business office word-processing
Message-ID: <2048@saber.UUCP>
Date: Tue, 30-Sep-86 17:53:30 EDT
Article-I.D.: saber.2048
Posted: Tue Sep 30 17:53:30 1986
Date-Received: Thu, 2-Oct-86 21:06:42 EDT
References: <1246@kitty.UUCP> <141@rayssd.UUCP> <2433@phri.UUCP>, <2046@saber.UUCP> <7154@utzoo.UUCP>
Organization: Saber Technology, San Jose, CA
Lines: 28

> > [Me]
> > Security is another important issue.  Much clerical data (pay rates, customer
> > lists, job evaluations) is much safer on a floppy disk in a drawer than on a
> > UNIX system.  Only constant vigilance can keep any UNIX system secure, and
> > that vigilance is most unlikely in an office environment.
> 
> [Thoughtful reply, concluding..]
> Actually, only constant vigilance is going to keep anything really secure.
> 				Henry Spencer @ U of Toronto Zoology

Most of the examples you cite (locked drawers, hairpins in locks) concern
concerted and deliberiate attempts to breach security.  My original article
was more concerned with the casual snoop.  The average UNIX system is more
likely to have casual pokers-around and security-testers then most OA systems.

Many perceive a big difference between looking in the corners of a file
system and snooping through someone else's desk.  They're the ones I was
writing about.

-- 
---------------------------------------------------------
All opinions except attributed quotations are mine alone.
Satirical comments may not be specifically identified as such.
--
Phil Gustafson			Voice:	(408)435-8600
Saber Technology Corp.
2381 Bering Drive		Mail:	decwrl!sun!saber!phil
San Jose, CA 95131			idi!saber!phil

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Path: utzoo!henry
From: he...@utzoo.UUCP (Henry Spencer)
Newsgroups: net.text,net.unix
Subject: Re: Use of ``vi'' for business office word-processing
Message-ID: <7193@utzoo.UUCP>
Date: Mon, 6-Oct-86 15:26:17 EDT
Article-I.D.: utzoo.7193
Posted: Mon Oct  6 15:26:17 1986
Date-Received: Mon, 6-Oct-86 15:26:17 EDT
References: <1246@kitty.UUCP>
Organization: U of Toronto Zoology
Lines: 34

> Most of the examples you cite (locked drawers, hairpins in locks) concern
> concerted and deliberiate attempts to breach security.  My original article
> was more concerned with the casual snoop.  The average UNIX system is more
> likely to have casual pokers-around and security-testers then most OA systems.

If you don't have casual pokers-around and security-testers wandering around
your office, I see no reason why you should let them onto your office Unix.
The average Unix system -- where "average" is defined in terms of the numbers
of systems in the field -- is a small-business system with no dialups, no
public terminals, and most certainly no undergraduate-student accounts.

Actually, even on a "classical" Unix system, in a university environment
with student access, casual snoopers can be fended off quite effectively
by tactics like restrictive umask settings.  Defending against serious
crackers in such an environment does indeed require a lot of work.

> Many perceive a big difference between looking in the corners of a file
> system and snooping through someone else's desk.  They're the ones I was
> writing about.

There is somewhat less of a difference between having to break security
to read a file and having to pick a lock to go through a desk, however.
Agreed that many people feel uninhibited about inspecting files whose owner
has made no effort to protect them, but this is more of a question of
educating the owners:  they need to realize (or have it realized for them,
by the person who sets up the accounts and decides on the umask setting)
that the system as a whole is a *public* environment, like a building
corridor, and some effort must be made to protect files if they are not
to be exposed to one and all.  If the users aren't aware of this and the
person who set up the system hasn't done anything about it, somebody
is guilty of seriously unprofessional negligence.
-- 
				Henry Spencer @ U of Toronto Zoology
				{allegra,ihnp4,decvax,pyramid}!utzoo!henry