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

From: Alexander S. <>
Date: Wed, 2 Jul 2014 17:52:41 +0400

2014-07-02 13:12 GMT+04:00 Dimitris Papastamos <>:
> On Wed, Jul 02, 2014 at 09:39:20AM +0400, Alexander S. wrote:
>> 2014-06-29 18:43 GMT+04:00 Aapo Vienamo <>:
>> >> 2. Fantastic syntax highlighting
>> > This may be considered harmfull in general. [0]
>> > [0]
>> Hello,
>> This snippet of thought makes a case that reading code is like reading
>> a literature, when in fact, surprise, it is not.
> He specifically says "Unlike novels blabla".

Yeah yeah, I know, but saying something and making the case against it
is strange. Good sntax highlighting allows you to *ignore* syntax
better, rather than focusing your attention on it.

>> You can literally replace his arguments against syntax highlighting
>> with arguments against alignment in tabular data,
>> because reading a literature with alignment will prove to be
>> difficult. Or that you don't need indentation because it makes
>> you focus on parsing tree rather than semantics, if we're taking it
>> closer to the programming world.
> There are always trade-offs. Indentation is worth it.

Trade-offs? What do we lose?

>> The ridiculousness of a comparison would be more apparent if, instead
>> of coloring verbs in text (which I personally
>> do not consider keywords, verbs are operators; the program text is not
>> very saturated with keywords, and those serve
>> more as headings), it indeed did compare a snippet with and without
>> highlighting.
> Try it.

Uh, I did. I obviously have seen code without synta highlighting, what
are you talking about?

>> Quote:
>> > Syntax errors will be found by the compiler anyway; the developers shouldn't waste time looking for them.
>> The point of syntax highlighting is that you don't have to waste time
>> looking for them, as they become apparent;
>> indeed, you also don't need to spend time compiling it and reading
>> what the compiler spew forthh at you in response.
> The compiler output should be relatively easy to read assuming you are
> familiar with your compiler (with the exception of g++). You can pattern
> match it for the most part because of the limited amount of different
> error messages you can get. You can then simply jump to the corresponding
> line in the code.
> Use your compiler with sensible options enabled.

Because compiling is fast, right? Well, it is not.

>> This statement would be like saying that spellcheckers are useless
>> because correctors are there to fix typos in a draft.
> Stop applying this concept to everything.

He's applying typography concepts to code editing, so that's just pot
calling kettle black.
Don't forbid my analogies just because they're analogies.
I don't apply it to everything, just to that specific case. Tell me
why I'm wrong.

>> The desire of some people even in spheres that are supposedly
>> technologically advanced to go all "I'm better than you because I
>> don't
>> NEED your newfangled this and that" is frightening.
> That's just his opinion and his experience. Get over it.
> FWIW I have not used syntax highlighting in years. My personal
> experience is similar to what lft is talking about in his article.

Yeah but saying "that's just his opinion" doesn't absolve said opinion
from criticism.
You cannot have any discourse if you just keep repeating that mantra.

(Though I think arguing with him would be hopeless, as, in comments,
he presents the fact that
improper highlighting of the word "white" in Alice snippet went
unnoticed for long as an evidence
of highlighting failure to show errors, whil it is clear, that
highlighting cannot show errors in highlighting.)

It's still incredible to me how some people think they're better than
others on absolutely no grounds, though.

And while I agree that colorful highlighting only looks good on
certain languages, and C is not among them,
(but assembly absolutely is), Emacs-style fontstyle highlighting is
uncluttery and helps you unconsciously
make notes of what's going on without having to read through keywords.
Which is what the "article"'s author
wants anyway.
Received on Wed Jul 02 2014 - 15:52:41 CEST

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.0 : Wed Jul 02 2014 - 16:00:11 CEST