[dev] Is there a text editor following the UNIX philosophy?

From: Daniel Littlewood <danielittlewood_AT_gmail.com>
Date: Fri, 11 Feb 2022 11:47:56 +0000

Hi all,

There was a recent chat about cat -v & single-purpose programs which
has been rattling around my head for the last few weeks. There are
*many* bloated code editors (atom, vscode, etc.), but most people
usually present either emacs or vim as an alternative. I can't see
these as any less bloated - there are very old jokes about emacs being
a great OS which is just missing a text editor. And vim implements a
lot of features that feel like they could (hence should) be provided
by other utilities. Examples include syntax highlighting, text
completion, search and replace, pane management (!), and others.

It seems to me like the obvious alternative workflow would be, rather
than to have a single monolithic program for the general job of
"editing text" (which is really lots of jobs pretending to be one),
one might have a program for syntax highlighting, a program for
completion, a facility for dispatching text to shell commands, and so
on. On the more extreme end one could even imagine separating the jobs
of navigating through a buffer (i.e. a pager) from the editing of
text. Obviously that's not a complete idea by itself, or I wouldn't be
asking for suggestions.

I found kakoune, which seems essentially like a vim clone with better
shell integration. From the other end, there is always ed.
Unfortunately I don't have much experience with it, and it's not often
discussed, so I can't tell whether it could do the "integration" step.

I wonder whether there are any text-editing (particularly
code-editing) workflows people have had success with which combine
many small programs, rather than using a single monolith.
Received on Fri Feb 11 2022 - 12:47:56 CET

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