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Things I never knew about myself

Text editors. I never knew I'd have my secrets laid bare by my choice of a side in the Great Holy War.

See, I've tried emacs. I've wrangled with it repeatedly, twisting my hands to master it's commands, but nothing sticks. I want to learn it, I like the idea of a thermonuclear text editor that builds things into itself rather than working its way in. But... no. I just can't grok emacs. Nothing sticks, nothing matches my own (admittedly-flawed) intuitive model.

A couple of weeks ago, I started using vi. Same problems, I couldn't fit it to my intuitive model, even if I was at least picking up the finger-macros. Then I did something foolish. 2ifoo^[. I didn't get what I expected, instead I got an epiphany. vi isn't modal at all, and that meant I could fix up my intuitive model to match.

So yeah, I'm a dirty vi user. Never thought I'd hear myself saying that. But at least my editor of choice fits on a rescue floppy ;)



( 14 informants — We want information! )
Feb. 5th, 2007 03:22 pm (UTC)
Feb. 5th, 2007 04:27 pm (UTC)
kwrite for me!
Feb. 5th, 2007 06:41 pm (UTC)
I like kwrite when I have a gui (i would pick it as my favorite CUA editor), but I do too much console type work to use it that often. Also, on older systems, kwrite is a bit on the beefy side. And although I posted another comment on this same post in praise of emacs, emacs is also a bit beefy. I actually end up using quick little console emacs workalikes like jed or joe (both emacs modes and launch like lightning). They have the keystrokes I like but without the overhead of a lisp interpreter.
Feb. 5th, 2007 11:48 pm (UTC)
I use pico for minimal console-based editing. It's simple and I don't have to remember any control sequences.
Feb. 5th, 2007 05:04 pm (UTC)
Feb. 5th, 2007 06:35 pm (UTC)
I have the opposite story. I approached both with an open mind, but I just could not get "fluid" with vi as compared with emacs. I kick ass with emacs, and in vim I slowly plod about. I find the esc key too far away for the frequent and important usage vi requires of it. I like the idea of a sleek, minimal editor that retains a lot of power. I like the idea of vi, but for my particular configuration of brainmeats, emacs just makes much more sense. Your epiphany is intriguing, though. I may give it another chance.

Bash (and other readline-type programs) respond by default to emacs keystrokes (^a, ^e, ^k, ^y being some favorites), which is probably part of why I ended up on the emacs side of this particular holy war. As with most religions, though, I try to avoid intense and irrational fervor.

Also: KDE FOREVER, DEATH TO GNOME! (just kidding. kinda.)
Feb. 5th, 2007 08:57 pm (UTC)
escape too far away? never fear!
Use control-[. You think you have it bad? I had to use an old NCD X terminal which had the escape key where your keyboard would probably have F13.
Feb. 6th, 2007 12:30 am (UTC)
Wait, there are people who haven't got rid of that abomination? The CAPS LOCK key makes a wonderful extra ESC when you're working in a vi-alike.

KDE and GNOME alike are piles of wank. I use windowmaker to organise a lot of terminals and a browser, with other things as required, when I'm on Linux.
Feb. 6th, 2007 02:18 pm (UTC)
For some reason, I hadn't thought of that. I cheerfully swap caps lock and control when I have to use a crusty old Sun keyboard (among other things). I never considered using it for esc, perhaps just because I always considered esc a nigh-useless key. But given that capslock is an entirely useless key, the solution is obvious in hindsight. Thanks for the tip.

I may just come over to the vi side in the end. We shall see.

(And a pox on windowmaker! I'd place it just above twm on my personal hierarchy of shit-tastic bronze age window managers.)
Feb. 7th, 2007 01:39 pm (UTC)
Although Gnome does come with something pretending to be a window manager it is not one, and thus not comparable to window maker. Anyway, you should be using FVWM, and Emacs damnit!-)

<!-- Insert several thousand lines about why vi (and relations) is horribly wrong here -->
Feb. 5th, 2007 06:47 pm (UTC)
While I'm spamming up the comments here, I thought I'd add a link to a really nice looking colored keystroke chart for Vi[m].

Feb. 6th, 2007 12:32 am (UTC)
I'd have one for emacs, but if you wanted it at a useful size you'd need an electron microscope to read it. Though the 55-gallon emacs reference mug might come in handy in the mornings...

Feb. 6th, 2007 05:11 pm (UTC)
I like jed.

I would like to like vi, but I can't grok it.
Feb. 7th, 2007 10:23 pm (UTC)
spudtater: Wow, you're the second non-me person I've heard of who uses jed. I use it quite a bit in its emacs-emulation mode, though I find it a pain in the ass to get running win32, so that's where I give up and install [x]emacs. Cygwin includes a build of joe, which has an emacsish mode. I usually symlink /usr/bin/jed to it so my muscle-memory fingers can still invoke it faster than I can think about it. It is neither the best nor the worst editor out there, but I picked up the habit of it somewhere along the line.
( 14 informants — We want information! )



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