Has anyone tried using vi/vim on a variety of other operating systems? The ones I've tried it on have a weird default configuration that makes them much more difficult to use than Fedora, and I wonder what the root cause of that is.
On Fedora I can open a file with vi, use arrow keys to move around, the "i" key enters insert mode and then I can go ahead and edit the file, escape, ":wq" and I'm done. But on a handful of other operating systems I've tried to use vi on, things never worked quite so well.
The OS's I had vi problems on were: a recent version of Ubuntu (maybe not 10.10 but a version before that), OpenSolaris, Arch Linux, and iirc I had trouble with OS X Leopard as well.
What happens on these OS's is... I open a file with vi, use the arrow keys to get to the line I want, hit "i" for insert mode and.... nothing happens? there's no "status bar" across the bottom of the terminal saying I'm in insert mode. So I try to type things, and the typing is weird (it only wants to write over top of existing text instead of inserting new text), so I use the arrow keys to try to move the cursor and fix it, and the arrow keys just start putting weird garbage characters like ^W or something in there. I never figure out what's wrong at this point or how to fix it, and I end up hitting escape a half dozen times and ":q!" to get out of the file without saving it, and then poke around for a different text editor (usually falling back to nano).
On Ubuntu the vim troubles were fixed by doing a "sudo apt-get install vim-common" or something along those lines. I didn't figure out how to fix vim on OpenSolaris, Arch Linux or OS X however. Arch Linux really caught me off guard though, because the installer asks you what text editor you'd like to use, and I picked vim, only to find out I couldn't edit any of the config files with it, and the setup tool wouldn't let me change my mind. I had to end up going to a terminal and edit the files by hand with nano instead.
Is it documented anywhere why vim acts so weird "by default" (I'm assuming it's by default, and that CentOS/Fedora ship the extra package that makes vim usable but other distros don't)?