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Re: ::scr Towards a better text editor
On Mon, Oct 01, 2001 at 11:05:24AM +0100, Simon Wistow wrote:
> My feelings on Emacs and Vi are, I think, pretty well known. I think they
> suck. I think that they make editing text, their raison d'etre, hard. Which is
Hrm, this old fucker. Okay, let's give it a go.
Again you're already muddling all the types of text into one. Editing
mail messages != editing code != editing structured data.
> I use nano, a Gnu Pico clone, which other people thinks suck.
I think it's a fine tool for the job, when the job is composing
email. Unfortunately it's just pico redone, and it's heritage (pico
itself coming from uemacs) shows through quite badly in places. One
particular niggle is that C-k kills the entire line, not to the end.
Kill-to-end is much more useful to me, and if I really did want to nix
an entire line I'd go to the start of the line and kill to the end,
but not easily with the nano keybindings, of course.
> I like it
> because it's small and quick to load,
Processes on my system, in descending order of size. dselect,
xfree86, konqueror, eterm, zsh, emacs. So a shell takes up more
memory than an editor, how awful. I load emacs once per reboot, it
sits inside a screen, and I use gnuserv to invoke it from other apps.
That takes care of speed fairly well.
> saving and opening files is easy and
> doesn't require a 30 character input,
C-x C-f, C-x C-s, and they're similarly terse in vi. Oh, my brain is
> the up arrow goes up, the down arrow
> goes down
> and it doesn't have a fricking version of Elite built into it and
> programing in Lisp.
Both of which keep me awake at night, I can assure you.
> All the key commands are at the bottom of the screen
Oh good, heavens forbid you'd want to save on screen space by actually
remembering what you're doing. Editing text couldn't possibly be
something you'd learn once and use consistently without expending any
further mental effort on it, that would just be silly.
> It is missing some stuff. Whilst it has auto-indenting (which I don't use
> anyway) it doesn't have syntax highlighting.
Because it's not an editor for programming with?
For programming I'm more than happy to have magic-layout and syntax
highlighting done for me. It frees me to actually write the code,
rather than spending cycles on prettyfying code. Tools like indent
and perltidy can also help, but it's useful to have that built into
the editing mode.
> It doesn't have a macro language.
That's okay, people would only waste space writing elite for it, eh?
> So what else should a text editor have? Should it have less? ARGUE WITH ME!
Exactly what text are you editing? Define the job and the best tool
will probably make itself known a lot more readily.
Richard Clamp <richardc@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>