Leon Brooks leon at brooks.smileys.net
Sun Oct 1 00:47:23 WST 2000

Scott Campbell wrote:
> but how do you actually edit the file, what is the name of a text editior?
> and some basic commands?

Real programmers use sed, or write their own editors (which has been done to
death in a variety of ways, including (cringe) a blend of gawk and dd).
Masochists and showoffs use ed.

I use Joe, which can run as a WordStar-ish editor for those who are used to
that, an EMACS-ish editor (the mode I use it in) for EMACS-wannabees who are
deafened by the colossal number of bells and whistles in EMACS, and several
other things. To try it out, type...

    jmacs filename

...and then ^X^H (Control-X Control-H) to switch on a help panel. The only
commands most people have trouble finding, oddly enough, are save-and-exit
(^X^C) and discard-and-exit (^XK - note absence of ^ before K).

EMACS itself can be invoked as ``emacs filename'' or sometimes just ``em

Vi is less ambitious than EMACS, and works exceptionally well over a really slow
link, but can be extremely confusing for a newbie, since many commands are
ordinary letters (no control keys or anything) and there are a whole flock of
modes to know about.

Most modern distributions come with a whole pack of editors (Mandrake 7.2 has
about twenty, counting graphical editors). Another popular text-based one is
jed. Try typing ``man -k edit'' and see what pops up.

There is a 70% probability of tomorrow. (actual weatherman quote. 1988)

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