Beau Kuiper kuiperba at cs.curtin.edu.au
Sun Oct 1 02:26:18 WST 2000


This is biased. I hate both vi and emacs. Yes, both vi and emacs are extremely
powerful, but it doesn't mean either have a very good interface. Note that I
don't have any experince with emacs. When a whole slackware disk series is
devoted to emacs, it just isn't realisitic to use such a bloated editor.

On Sun, 01 Oct 2000, Jason Nicholls wrote:
> G'day,
> On Sun, Oct 01, 2000 at 12:47:23AM +0800, Leon Brooks wrote:
> > 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.
> The lack of control key CTRL/ALT combinations is much faster in the long run
> (vi has different modes of operation, when *not* in insert/replace mode the
> normal characters become control keys). Why? Because you don't have to worry
> about reaching out to the keyboard extremities (alt, ctrl, etc...) plus most 
> vi commands are single characters, so no key combinations either.

Escape, the most common key used in vi, IS on the extreme top/left hand side of
the keyboard. Alt and ctrl are much closer. Vi also gets it wrong by:

1) Assuming people use commands more than entering text. When using a text
editor, most of the time I am entering text, not running obscure commands.

2) Executing a command and doing stuff is far too slow and difficult. If I am
inserting text, and I need to delete a line, I must:

	reach to the far end of the keyboard and press ESC
	position the cursor
	press d twice (the command to delete a line)
	press i to enter insert mode again.

3) The feedback vi (or even vim) gives back is far too terse to understand. Am
I in command or insert mode. Where exactly am I in the file I am working on.
What commands can I execute and how do I do them (I am not particularly fond of
remembering all of them)

> [and before people begin to shout, there are CTRL/ALT combinations in vi 
>  but it's usually possible to avoid (and i've excluded the use of
>  bindings etc...)]

And before you complain about using CTRL or ALT, think about how many times you
have used SHIFT, right next to both of those keys in your original post.

> I'm not trying to say "use vi over emacs" because in all honesty I've never
> used emacs ;) I say get proficient in vi OR emacs or equivalently powered
> editor (doesn't matter to me) because they are both much more productive 
> than a regular "no frills" text editor.

I agree that vi is far better than a no-frills text editors like kedit, but it
doesn't mean vi is effecient for most people. I side with Leon and use joe
for all my editing. While not as powerful as vi or emacs, it does everything I
realisticly need, and don't get in the way of what I really use a text editor
for, which is writing text.

Beau Kuiper
kuiperba at cs.curtin.edu.au

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