Monday, September 18, 2006

Vi is for Victory

Anyone who enjoyed my post on programming languages and politics the other day might appreciate a look at Nathan's take on the same concept. For Nathan, it's about power tools...(scroll down)

I like my analogy better - more original, I think (we're used to thinking of PLs as "tools").

I note with some amusement that Nathan's latest "journal" entry says:

That reminds me, I'm thinking about trying to learn vi and its command set at some point. I just know :wq! right now and I feel like I should know the Other Real Editor even if its total functionality doesn't compare to emacs. If I like the keys, I can use viper-mode in emacs, and I heard on the internet that vi keys are easier on your hands in the long term than emacs keys.

By "vi" he means vim (the "vi" command loads Vim on Macs) - the World's Coolest Editor. I'm too young (in computer years) to be a veteran of the Editor Wars, but I know enough about the world to know gay shit when I see it, and Emacs is definitely kinda that way.

By the way - Vim's total functionality only "doesn't compare to Emacs" in the sense that it can't do things that text editors aren't traditionally expected to do - like send email. As an editor Vim can, contrary to stubborn belief, do all that Emacs can and more (with far fewer keystrokes).

Anyway - it's very nice to see Nathan thinking about converting to the Path of Righteousness. Nathan is smart and interesting. He should really be putting his brain to better uses than memorizing endless lists of arcane commands.


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