1) A lot of the issue seems to be with Gostev repeating what Stack Overflow found. You're essentially discarding the experience of thousands of developers when you say "pffft it's easy to quit, and if you can't figure that out then maybe you don't understand vim." Doing so advances the theory that the OSS community isn't as friendly as it purports to be; it's quite exclusionary and derogatory to imply that everyone lookup up how to quit is dumb or doesn't care to get it. According to the article, 1 in 20,000 visits to SO is about exiting vim. That is a lot of people who may actually be trying to understand vim but who, if they read this, would feel they're no longer welcome in tech because they couldn't figure out how to quit vim without looking for assistance. Please, rethink this mentality, it's costing this industry people every single day. Empathy is a crucial skillset - especially for those trying to improve the user experience.
2) You point to this screen here as evidence that vim is easy to quit:
rawtaz wrote:As promised, the VIM entry screen:
- Code: Select all
~ VIM - Vi IMproved
~ version 7.4.752
~ by Bram Moolenaar et al.
~ Vim is open source and freely distributable
~ Help poor children in Uganda!
~ type :help iccf<Enter> for information
~ type :q<Enter> to exit
~ type :help<Enter> or <F1> for on-line help
~ type :help version7<Enter> for version info
Without fail, every tutorial I have looked at says "type vi <filename>" which will never present you with that screen. You will only see it if you type "vi" by itself, or open a new buffer without a file in it (certainly something a first-time user is extremely unlikely to do, at least not on purpose). I myself used vi and then vim for about a decade before I ever saw this splash screen, because I always provided a filename as an argument. Just like quitting itself (I so prefer ZZ), there's more than one way to launch vim, and most do not show this very helpful banner, but instead assume the user knows what they are doing and does not provide any assistance - an assumption that falls on its face for new users, especially first time users.
3) When we talk about OSS and user experience, we must be inclusive, make people feel welcome. This does not:
rawtaz wrote:If you were to understand what VIM is about, and learn the basics of it enough to see the light, then you'd probably feel very differently about it. But at this point in time, it seems your expectations are not in line with the design and intentions of VIM.
This makes people feel very not-welcome, like they weren't accepted into the club but their friends went in anyway, leaving them embarrassed on the sidewalk outside. Probably the most anti-user experience any of us can experience is being told that we're "holding it wrong", to paraphrase someone constantly held up as the epitome of good user experience. Why should anyone need to "understand what VIM is about," whatever that might be, to use it to edit a file and quit? Understanding almost always comes after usage. Did any of us understand the mathematics of parabolic arcs before we figured out how to throw a ball or rock and hit what we aimed for? Or the bio-mechanics of the throwing motion involved? No, we experimented over and over and understanding came later, if ever.
If we want to read Gostev's mailer and have it say, "OSS cares about the user experience," then we need to show that. I think that's the best response we could have to his digest.