Re: [dev] Plain text editor that sucks less - an alternative to VIM?

From: Paul Onyschuk <>
Date: Tue, 8 Jul 2014 12:30:18 +0200

On Sun, 29 Jun 2014 13:24:58 +0200
patrick295767 wrote:

> For many years I have been looking for a lightweight alternative to
> VIM. (sthg else than Emacs, elvis, nano,... and all the billion of
> text editor).

I'll point out two editors that have their issues, but at the same time
have some interesting ideas. I'll skip the license cult worship

  - code [1]
  - documentation [2]

Everything is a command, there is only one keybinding (the command
terminator). It is non-modal: no switching between a command line and
a visual mode. Everything is done in a separate part of the screen,
somehow similar to Sam. Example of inserting the new text (where "i" is
a command and "$" is a terminator):

  isome new text$

Syntax is horrible, but that isn't the point. Best example of this
convention is probably undo. Since everything is a command and
commands are stored in a separate sub-window, you can go as far as
editing the command history itself. You can modify a command in the
middle of the history.

  - code [3]
  - documentation [4] (there is a reference at the end of file, second
    letter is valid for QWERTY mode)

This editor goes in the opposite direction, almost eliminating a
separate command prompt (expect for regular expressions). The usage is
oriented around a selection and a clip buffer. Example of piping
paragraph through fmt (where "^" is Ctrl):

^U start selection
^Space^Y jump to the end of paragraph
^X cut selection (put into clip buffer)
^U starting new selection
fmt type text (command) into selection
^R pipe clip buffer through command specified in
                selected text

It takes some time getting used to. I find this editor convenient to
the point of using it on daily basis.


This is a bit off topic. I'm somewhere in the middle, when it comes
to coloring. It is not harmful in itself. The problem as I see it,
streams from highlighters that universally are going over the top by
taking a "christmas tree" approach to the syntax.

Personally I give comments different color. I find alternating colors
for pairs of bracketing characters also nice - this is lighter approach
than blinking/jumping to matching bracket. This is enough for me.


Paul Onyschuk
Received on Tue Jul 08 2014 - 12:30:18 CEST

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