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Thread: What editor
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MikeSome people have told me they don't think a fat penguin really embodies the grace of Linux, which just tells me they have never seen a angry penguin charging at them in excess of 100mph. They'd be a lot more careful about what they say if they had.
-- Linus Torvalds
When I first began working where I work, I used pico and thought I was elite. Then, a file had to be changed on our AIX mainframe. I called my boss, saying, "Gee, there's no pico." He said, "You can't use vi? Never mind, I'll do it."
So, I quickly learned to use vi.
The advantage is that it's found on almost every Unix and Unix like operating system. (Amusingly enough, Gentoo's stage 1 used to only contain nano, and many of us would ruin our stage 1 install by accidentally putting or :wq, two common ways to save and close a vi edited file, at the end of make.conf)
There is nano, which is similar to pico. If I'm not mistaken, pico is only included if you install pine, though one can have nano, which may be the same thing (I don't know as I don't use them) without pine.
So, is it better? Hrrm, I think that once you get used to vi, you will find it more flexible, especially if you're a touch typist. Many things, such as w3m and mutt to name a couple, use the vi navigation keys. In vi you use j to go down a line, k to go up, h for left and l for right. If you're a touch typist, you can see how convenient this is once you get used to it.
If I were in vi right now, I could type 6k and move up 6 lines if I wanted to make a change. Personally, I think it's well worth learning. Clunky though it seems at first, especially getting used to the difference between insert and command mode, once you're used to it, you see its convenience.
Vim is simply a vi clone, as are nvi, elvis, and a couple of others. For instance, Slack and Deb have elvis as their default vi. RH and ArchLInux have vim.
Oh yeah, it's definitely cooler.
However, the two main reasons to learn it are that it may be the only editor available on some systems and that once you do get comfortable with it,
it does make editing easier than it is with pico (imho).
You don't need your mouse for either. If you can use it in pico, its news to me.
As for the editor...use whatever you want and makes you most productive. If you find pico easier, use pico. If you find vi/vim easier, use vi/vim.
BryanLooking for a distro? Look here.
"There can be no doubt that all our knowledge begins with experience." - Immanuel Kant (Critique of Pure Reason)
Queen's University - Arts and Science 2008 (Sociology)
Registered Linux User #386147.
I use vi but am a newbie. I have found some differences between VI and VIM. VIM needs to be installed where VI is usually there. I am convinced now that I sould learn Vi I do get a lot of "It gets easier and it is nice once you learn it." I am going to spend the time and learn it but now what is better VI or VIM and is it easier learn one one you know the other?Some people have told me they don't think a fat penguin really embodies the grace of Linux, which just tells me they have never seen a angry penguin charging at them in excess of 100mph. They'd be a lot more careful about what they say if they had.
-- Linus Torvalds
- Join Date
- May 2004
- arch linux
I used to run pico or nano, and still do at times but once I learned enough vim to be productive with it, I started using it as my default editor. It takes a while to get familiar with it but once you do, it's great.
Run "vimtutor" (built-in tutorial) a few times to get off to a good start with vim.
03-07-2006 #6Originally Posted by ozarSome people have told me they don't think a fat penguin really embodies the grace of Linux, which just tells me they have never seen a angry penguin charging at them in excess of 100mph. They'd be a lot more careful about what they say if they had.
-- Linus Torvalds
- Join Date
- Feb 2006
- Dover, DE
Hey, what about emacs? "the extensible, customizable, self-documenting real-time display editor" for which, I have come to believe, nothing is imposible. I've been using it for c programming, latex typsetting, lilypond (music typseting) . . . is there anything it cannot do?
I know, I know, you were just talking about text editing.
<Henny Youngman voice>
Well, emacs is a great operating system, but it needs a good text editor.
Emacs--isn't that a recursive acronym, Emacs makes a computer slow?
Using emacs to edit a text file is like using a frontloader to put the cat out.
I tried to learn emacs--then, I said the heck with it, I'll learn an easier operating system.
(Dodges all the tomatos.)
</Henny Youngman voice>
All kidding aside, emacs is an incredibly powerful tool. Again, the thing with vi is that it's on almost every system you'll find.
As for vi vs. vim, a lot of this is habit. I find vim easier. Also, I often need to input Japanese into a text file and vim seems to handle this better than the other forms of vi that I've used.
However, other people will swear by nvi or other forms of vi. I started with vim, so for me, it's a bit easier. For instance, to edit two files at once, in vim you use sp: <filename>. In nvi you use N:<filename> Which is better? The one that you're used to.
It should be noted that Emacs vs. vi is probably the single most common flame war topic in the history of Unix.
Having said that: familiarize yourself with all options, learn to use them all at least somewhat (as, at some point in your life, you will have only one option), and learn what each is good for.
Nano is extremely simple, and some people really like that.
Emacs is extremely extendable, and you can morph it into an all-encompassing program if you want. Personal configurations can be thousands of lines long to make your Emacs just right.
Vim is my personal choice because I like its ease of use. I like being able to manipulate my entire document easily with the keyboard, and vim is excellent with this. I also find commands extremely simple to use.
Try 'em all, and don't ever take someone else's word on which is best: their tastes may be very different from yours.
03-07-2006 #10Originally Posted by Cabhan
far out gvim in mac OSX and windows is cool. i now know commands i didnt know.
my 2 cents again,
-weed"Time has more than one meaning, and is more than one dimension" - /.unknown
--Registered Linux user #396583--