Re: [dev] Experimental editor

From: markus schnalke <>
Date: Fri, 17 Jun 2011 11:29:12 +0200

[2011-06-17 09:54] David Tweed <>
> On Fri, Jun 17, 2011 at 9:51 AM, David Tweed <> wrote:
> > On Fri, Jun 17, 2011 at 9:46 AM, Nicolai Waniek <> wrote:
> >> On 06/17/2011 10:37 AM, markus schnalke wrote:
> >>> For the same reason we want Unix's manifold toolchain and for the same
> >>> reason we want several programming languages: Because ``One fits all''
> >>> is an illusion.
> >>
> >>
> >> Then try to figure out some basic tools that you can glue together to
> >> form a fully functional editor.
> >>
> >> 'Reinventing' an editor for every purpose and most probably copying some
> >> things on source level from one editor to the next is ridiculous.

Isn't vi a good example for how not to reinvent everything? It wraps
around ex. (Some say ``Vi is actually one mode of editing within the
editor ex.'')

But actually, I think you misunderstood my words. I don't think one
should do the *same* again and again but rather put small specialized
parts together. If you used ed or ex you quickly notice that they are
great for editing on line basis but you'll suffer when editing within
a line. You likely tend to rewrite the whole line anew instead of
editing it. Vi (i.e. the normal mode) improves here. On line basis you
might still want to use ex ... although many don't.

> > Even more annoying is that the way that the lack of an OS-level editor
> > component means that there's a tendency for any application that wants
> > to provide a writing/editing capability to write their own, often
> > poor, editing code.

You point to a different problem: Application programmers don't honor
common practice in Unix.

> To clarify, I by "OS-level component" I mean at the "this is THE
> component applications use when the want editing", but which would be
> changeable by the user.

Actually there is such thing: ${VISUAL-${EDITOR-vi}}

> > I entirely agree with that "one interface fits all
> > users" is a problem, but I'd like a system where there was "one
> > interface for editing in all circumstances for this user".

From application's view: See above.

Else: Ed is the standard text editor!

Received on Fri Jun 17 2011 - 11:29:12 CEST

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