[LMB] The Text Editor of the Beast OT:

James Burbidge jamesandmary.burbidge at sympatico.ca
27 Oct 2003 21:07:20 -0500


On Mon, 2003-10-27 at 00:23, Paula Lieberman wrote:
> 
> Also -- vi is from the west coast, Emacs from the east coast, Stallman wrote
> it while he was a Harvard student. vi is Stanfordish or Berkeleyish.
> 
> Emacs is a lot more configurable.  People in the corporate world don't have
> duels to the the death, they merely snipe at one another about it.
> 
> I don't recall who wrote vi.  But I've known Stallman for  long time-since
> we were both college students, and both MITSFS keyholders, long ago.  And I
> doubt if the person who wrote vi, got a MacArthur Foundation award....
> 

Bill Joy.  I think he's prominent enough otherwise...

I _can_ in fact use both vi and emacs, although I think of vi as a tool
when I have a sysadmin hat on (available on all (modern) systems, and
comes up quickly -- good for editing small files).  When stuck on
Windows PCs I tend to install both vim and emacs, just for good measure.

However, I can make emacs sit up and do tricks, since I'm reasonably
fluent in emacs Lisp, and I think it wins as a programmer's editor hands
down.  I have also used it along with TeX (and, in the past, other text
formatting systems) for formatted text editing.

Then there's the old pean to the _original_ text editor:

> When I log into my Xenix system with my 110 baud teletype, both vi
> *and* Emacs are just too damn slow.  They print useless messages like,
> 'C-h for help' and '"foo" File is read only'.  So I use the editor
> that doesn't waste my VALUABLE time.
>
> Ed, man!  !man ed
>
> ED(1)               UNIX Programmer's Manual                ED(1)
>
> NAME
>     ed - text editor
>
> SYNOPSIS
>     ed [ - ] [ -x ] [ name ]
> DESCRIPTION
>     Ed is the standard text editor.
> ---
>
> Computer Scientists love ed, not just because it comes first
> alphabetically, but because it's the standard.  Everyone else loves ed
> because it's ED!
>
> "Ed is the standard text editor."
>
> And ed doesn't waste space on my Timex Sinclair.  Just look:

> -rwxr-xr-x  1 root          24 Oct 29  1929 /bin/ed
> -rwxr-xr-t  4 root     1310720 Jan  1  1970 /usr/ucb/vi
> -rwxr-xr-x  1 root  5.89824e37 Oct 22  1990 /usr/bin/emacs

> Of course, on the system *I* administrate, vi is symlinked to ed.
> Emacs has been replaced by a shell script which 1) Generates a syslog
> message at level LOG_EMERG; 2) reduces the user's disk quota by 100K;
> and 3) RUNS ED!!!!!!

> "Ed is the standard text editor."

> Let's look at a typical novice's session with the mighty ed:

> golem> ed

> ?
> help
> ?
> ?
> ?
> quit
> ?
> exit
> ?
> bye
> ?
> hello? 
> ?
> eat flaming death
> ?
> ^C
> ?
> ^C
> ?
> ^D
> ?
>
> ---
> Note the consistent user interface and error reportage.  Ed is
> generous enough to flag errors, yet prudent enough not to overwhelm
> the novice with verbosity.

> "Ed is the standard text editor."

> Ed, the greatest WYGIWYG editor of all.

> ED IS THE TRUE PATH TO NIRVANA!  ED HAS BEEN THE CHOICE OF EDUCATED
> AND IGNORANT ALIKE FOR CENTURIES!  ED WILL NOT CORRUPT YOUR PRECIOUS
> BODILY FLUIDS!!  ED IS THE STANDARD TEXT EDITOR!  ED MAKES THE SUN
> SHINE AND THE BIRDS SING AND THE GRASS GREEN!!

> When I use an editor, I don't want eight extra KILOBYTES of worthless
> help screens and cursor positioning code!  I just want an EDitor!!
> Not a "viitor".  Not a "emacsitor".  Those aren't even WORDS!!!! ED!
> ED! ED IS THE STANDARD!!!

> TEXT EDITOR.

> When IBM, in its ever-present omnipotence, needed to base their
> "edlin" on a UNIX standard, did they mimic vi?  No.  Emacs?  Surely
> you jest.  They chose the most karmic editor of all.  The standard.

> Ed is for those who can *remember* what they are working on.  If you
> are an idiot, you should use Emacs.  If you are an Emacs, you should
> not be vi.  If you use ED, you are on THE PATH TO REDEMPTION.  THE
> SO-CALLED "VISUAL" EDITORS HAVE BEEN PLACED HERE BY ED TO TEMPT THE
> FAITHLESS.  DO NOT GIVE IN!!!  THE MIGHTY ED HAS SPOKEN!!!