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Re: What's your favourite *under_publicized* editing feature ofEmacs?


From: Cthun
Subject: Re: What's your favourite *under_publicized* editing feature ofEmacs?
Date: Tue, 01 Mar 2011 09:05:50 -0500
User-agent: MicroPlanet-Gravity/3.0.4

On 28/02/2011 11:32 PM, Jim Janney wrote:
Cthun<address@hidden>  writes:
On 28/02/2011 6:38 AM, Jim Janney wrote:
I haven't written any novels, but the purpose of a version control
system is to manage text

First of all, the purpose of a version control system is to manage
text that's compilable by build tools

That's a bit like saying that the purpose of Usenet is pointless
bickering

What does your classic unsubstantiated and erroneous claim have to do with Lisp, Janney? Saying version control is for novels is like saying the purpose of Usenet is pointless bickering, Janney; saying it's for source code is like saying the purpose of Usenet is for discussion. Your mistake is rather ironic, though, considering your own considerable recent contributions to the misuse of Usenet for pointless bickering, Janney.

while that is one of the uses to which it's commonly put,
it's hardly the only one

What does that have to do with Lisp, Janney?

and moreover, word
processor documents are typically binary files, which version control
systems cope poorly with. Subversion's diff tool will not play nicely
with .doc files, Janney, and without it there is little point in using
version control.

I did say text; clever of you to pick up on that.

Plain, unformatted ASCII text, Janney, which is hardly useful for writing novels and articles. Novels tend to contain italics and other formatting here and there, Janney, whereas articles frequently contain scientific and mathematical symbols that do not exist in ASCII or sometimes even Unicode, and tables, graphs, charts, and formatted equations that cannot be represented nicely using a grid of characters.

I rarely lose work due to power failures or software crashes

That is easily accomplished without using version control,
Janney. Saving frequently and having a backup tool suffices for normal
people.

And it can be accomplished even more easily with Emacs and any one of a
number of version control systems.

What does your classic unsubstantiated and erroneous claim have to do with Lisp, Janney? Occasionally hitting control-S and backing up your files regularly is a lot easier than learning Emacs, Janney.

I could work without one, but I would have to do everything more
slowly and carefully.

Right click, drop, "copy here" is not especially slow, particularly
compared to learning all of the complexities of a version control
system, Janney. Version control systems have servers, clients, complex
command lines for checking things in and out of them, and so on and
have to be found, downloaded, installed, and configured. You need to
set up your router/firewall to hide the server from the rest of the
internet for security reasons. You have to set up some loopback
interface port for the server to use and then point the client at
127.0.0.1:portno. You may even have to put all those numbers on every
single command line to check in or check out a file, depending on the
software you chose, Janney.

That would certainly be a lot of work, if it were indeed necessary.  It
may please you to learn that, if you're not sharing your work with
others, there are a number of version control systems -- including
Subversion -- for which none of that is necessary.

What does your classic unsubstantiated and erroneous claim have to do with Lisp, Janney? Version control systems are inherently complex and inherently client/server oriented, Janney; if they weren't they'd be useless for their primary purpose, which is to enable collaborative software development, Janney.

All of this complexity, when you could just alt, f, "save as" or right
click, "copy here" or COPY FOO.DOC FOO.DOC.BAK, Janney.

That's rather more work than simply hitting a few key strokes in Emacs.

It's rather less work than struggling to learn, and later struggling to remember, those "few key strokes in Emacs", Janney. Not to mention the sprained wrists from tying your hands into pretzels trying to hit seven different modifier keys simultaneously, Janney. Emacs is not a text editor, Janney, it is a keyboard-implemented version of the game "Twister".

And you get less for it.

What does your classic unsubstantiated and erroneous claim have to do with Lisp, Janney? And it remains true that using SVN to "develop" a novel is like using a hammer to insert a screw, Janney.


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