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Re: simple editor required

From: Paul Edwards
Subject: Re: simple editor required
Date: Sat, 07 Jun 2003 03:43:43 GMT

"Harry Putnam" <address@hidden> wrote in message news:address@hidden
> "Paul Edwards" <address@hidden> writes:
> > Particularly frustrating is when something like the "del" key
> > doesn't do what I expect (not just what I expect, but what other
> > versions of emacs do when the appropriate command is
> > given).  As I turn up to a new job, don't know how to use vi,
> > and it appears that I don't even know how to delete a character.
> > If I have micro-emacs (or emacs was consistent between
> > versions so my .emacs did the right thing), it wouldn't be a
> > problem.
> Sounds like you need to bone up on vi before you go much further with
> your employment quests.  An employer expecting you to know vi isn't
> asking a terrible lot after all.

I can touch-type and I can write code with blinding productivity,
almost automatically.  I do not like having my prowess limited
by stupid editors that are incapable of doing basic things like
displaying an "a" if I press the "a" key.  Thus I hate "vi" with a
passion.  microemacs is what I use at home, and emacs comes
close enough to emulating that.

> Or expecting an employee to know about basic OS stuff like setting
> the erase character in shell.. really isn't asking a terrible lot
> either.

Wrong delete key.  The "DEL" key is being interpreted by
emacs as erase-backward-character instead of erasing the
current character.  At least on one of my emacs.  On the other
emacs, the .emacs file causes emacs to behave as expected.

> Both are very basic tools of the trade.  If you can't or won't learn
> them you probably need a different trade.

I know enough of vi to hold my nose for long enough to add
emacs to my .profile and switch to an editor that displays an
"a" when I press the "a" key.

> Not to be snotty but your
> post comes off like a cry baby who can't do his job.

:-)  If you have any concerns about my ability to do my job,
extremely productively, it is only because you've never been
my employer.

> A couple of evenings spent with a vi tutorial will get you lined out.
> Then start worrying about customizing emacs or changing defaults.

Do you actually touch-type?  Ever seen a skilled programmer
who can touch-type at 60wpm in action?  The keystrokes are
very important, they are memorized, they are automatic.  I
expect ctrl-e to erase the contents of the line, not the entire
line, and thus I automatically expect two ctrl-es to be required
to erase the line.  I need to concentrate on the work I am doing,
the fingers do the keystrokes by themselves.  Anything else
damages my productivity.  I sell my productivity.

> Many basic unix books have vi sections.

So does the man page.  I already know it sux.  I use emacs
because it is widely-installed.  I don't actually care what the
keystrokes are, so long as I only have to remember one.  Just
the same as I don't care if it is a QWERTY or (can't remember
alternative) keyboard, so long as I only have to know one.

The choice of keyboard was made a long time ago.  The choice
of a flavour of emacs was made circa 1985, on someone else's
recommendation (widely-available, multi-platform).  I just can't
believe the basics keep changing on me, by default.  I've struggled
with emacs "bugs"/"design flaws" for probably a decade, there's
always something that pops up to interfere with the basics, e.g.
having to press ctrl-d instead of DEL.  It breaks the rhythm and
really sux.  Doesn't suck as much as vi though.

BFN.  Paul.

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