Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 30th Aug 2016 16:29 UTC
General Unix

In a sane world, Unix vendors would have either replaced their version of more with the clearly superior less or at least updated their version of more to the 4.3 BSD version. Maybe less wouldn't have replaced more immediately, but certainly over say the next five years, when it kept on being better and most people kept preferring it when they had a choice. This would have been Unix evolving to pick a better alternative. In this world, basically neither happened. Unix fossilized around more; no one was willing to outright replace more and even updating it to the 4.3 BSD version was a slow thing (which of course drove more and more people to less). Eventually the Single Unix Specification came along and standardized more with more features than it originally had but still with a subset of less's features (which had kept growing).

This entire history has led to a series of vaguely absurd outcomes on various modern Unixes.

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RE[3]: And yet...
by DeadFishMan on Wed 31st Aug 2016 16:06 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: And yet..."
DeadFishMan
Member since:
2006-01-09

Most versions of more these days allow backscrolling, which is why I said "ctrl-b".


I guess it really depends on which OS we're talking about and how modern the userland is. On AIX, without any of the GNU goodies installed, 'more' is decidedly ancient and does not allow one to scroll using arrow keys.

It does, of course, allows scrolling back and forth beyond the typical space-to-scroll-down-one-page-at-a-time using vi keys (H,J,K,L) and standard vi commands (Ctrl-B, Ctrl-F, line-numberG, /pattern, etc.) but it is easy to see why most Linux users don't like it.

But I've also got this massive scrollback buffer for my terminal windows.


Most terminal emulators have at least 500 to 1000 lines of scrollback buffer so it usually makes this discussion moot. Problem kicks in when you're using one of those nifty terminal multiplexers such as tmux or GNU screen as each has its own way of handling said scrollback buffer.

In those cases, one has to use either 'more' or 'less' (or even 'pg' for the really old school!) to keep his/her sanity... ^_^

(Although I must confess I've grown rather fond of screen's way of handling its scrollback buffer, copy and paste, etc. over the years...)

Edited 2016-08-31 16:13 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE[4]: And yet...
by FlyingJester on Wed 31st Aug 2016 21:24 in reply to "RE[3]: And yet..."
FlyingJester Member since:
2016-05-11

Exactly. GNU more is way different than other versions of more, so you don't notice as much (although even then, try setting PAGER=more and see how horrible it is to use man in Linux).

If you are using Solaris, OpenBSD, or any other system that isn't GNU, and you will quickly learn to make sure you are using less rather than more.

Reply Parent Score: 3