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

From: Страхиња Радић <>
Date: Sat, 12 Feb 2022 10:16:58 +0100

On 22/02/11 11:47, Daniel Littlewood wrote:
> 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.

The question of "Unix philosophy" is more nuanced than that, it should be
applied in an sensible manner. It just isn't practical to bring the scope which
the "thing" that "programs do well" belongs to, down to such a fundamental level
as navigating through a buffer. Those buffers are better manipulated as internal
structures inside a single program, rather than some (textual) representation in
an input/output stream.

What should and can be avoided though, are for example plugins. A text editor
doesn't need plugins, it should be sufficient for its purpose. Customization
could be instead implemented through patches, as in other suckless programs.

A text editor should do "its thing" well, nothing more, nothing less. "Its
thing" should be editing of text files.

Received on Sat Feb 12 2022 - 10:16:58 CET

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