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Comparison: Linux Text Editors

Soulskill posted about 2 months ago | from the put-your-swords-down dept.

Programming 402

jrepin writes: Mayank Sharma of Linux Voices tests and compares five text editors for Linux, none of which are named Emacs or Vim. The contenders are Gedit, Kate, Sublime Text, UltraEdit, and jEdit. Why use a fancy text editor? Sharma says, "They can highlight syntax and auto-indent code just as effortlessly as they can spellcheck documents. You can use them to record macros and manage code snippets just as easily as you can copy/paste plain text. Some simple text editors even exceed their design goals thanks to plugins that infuse them with capabilities to rival text-centric apps from other genres. They can take on the duties of a source code editor and even an Integrated Development Environment."

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You're welcome to them. (5, Insightful)

jeffb (2.718) (1189693) | about 2 months ago | (#47585455)

It may not have been wise for me to spend years training vi into my muscle memory, but it's done now, and I'm not especially interested in giving up that advantage.

Re:You're welcome to them. (-1, Troll)

BitZtream (692029) | about 2 months ago | (#47585513)

yea, no need to get out of the stone age or anything.

What is it with people being proud of using the lowest common denominator? I can use it too, but why the hell would I given the option?

If I log into some archaic system that only has vi, sure, I'm fine, but given the option it just isn't impressive. Theres a reason I don't use those old archaic systems anymore. Its not the wheel, its not 'the best way to do it' its just the way thats been around since the beginning.

Have you seen Gedit lately? (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47585535)

Have you seen Gedit lately? Its new user interface is even less usable that vi's is: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gedit#mediaviewer/File:Gedit_3.11.92.png [wikipedia.org]

The Gnome designers just keep making Gnome's user interface worse and worse to use. I guess that's why so few people use Gnome these days!

Re:Have you seen Gedit lately? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47585673)

Vi has a learning curve that's more of a cliff than a curve, but it's probably the most usable text editor ever invented. People get freaked out by it and give up on trying to learn it, but everything is available without having to remove your hands from the keyboard and it has commands for virtually anything that you're likely to want to do.

Re: You're welcome to them. (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47585581)

Have you used Vim lately? With its multitude of plugins, it's hard to make the point that it's an editor from the Stone Age. I sometimes switch to editors like Sublime and always find myself coming back to Vim. It's extremely powerful, allows me to do complicated edits and movements, and it has all the features I'd expect in any GUI editor.

Stop being a prick. Not everyone uses vi/vim because it's "cool". Many of us use it because it's simply more productive to do so.

Re: You're welcome to them. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47585591)

You can put lipstick on a pig, it's still a pig.

Re: You're welcome to them. (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47585733)

Except that Vim is not a pig. I started using it 3 years ago, not because it's cool, but because many programmers recommended it to me.
I've been a programmer for more than 20 years, and during the past years using Vim I regretted many times that I hadn't take the time to make the switch sooner.
All other editors I tried (but I never tried Emacs) helped me a lot at the beginning, but eventually I would hit a top and stop improving. With Vim I feel like there is no limit to the productivity gains I can achieve. It's user interface is a language and I speak it more fluently every day, and I can extend it with customization.

Re: You're welcome to them. (5, Interesting)

Em Adespoton (792954) | about 2 months ago | (#47585789)

I use Sublime with vim bindings turned on. It has features I use every day that vi/vim doesn't have, and doesn't get in the way of my vim muscle memory. It also doesn't get in the way of my ed muscle memory, nor my Mac muscle memory. In fact, pretty much whatever legacy text editor my muscle memory thinks I'm using, Sublime will interpret the commands correctly and let me get the job done.

I've used all the listed editors, and eventually settled on the vim/Sublime combo, as they accomplish everything the others do, and then some.

And to think that 20 years ago, I was a diehard emacs user. I liked my macros, but Sublime can do all that too; it just prefers python over LISP.

Re: You're welcome to them. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47585975)

What features does ST have that vim doesn't?

Honest question, I'm not going to try knocking them down one by one, but I'm curious to know what you're finding lacking before I look too deeply into trying a new editor (the time it takes to learn the quirks of any new editor can be a net loss if the features on offer aren't worth the effort).

Vim can be extended with Python too, but if ST has a nicer extension API, I might give it a try.

Re: You're welcome to them. (1)

Em Adespoton (792954) | about 2 months ago | (#47586097)

http://www.sublimetext.com/for... [sublimetext.com] gives you a good start. But really; the best way to find out is to fire Sublime up and see; it's pretty self-explanatory for much of it (although having the vi mode plugin disabled by default can be a bit jarring until you figure out how the plugin system works).

Re:You're welcome to them. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47585603)

Instead of just screaming "stone age, lowest common denominator, archaic" maybe you could actually say why what you think what you're using is better?

Re:You're welcome to them. (2)

ccanucs (2529272) | about 2 months ago | (#47585613)

It's a matter of functionality, speed of use and the commonality of embedded operations that work the same as in other UN*X tools. Incredibly powerful. Would pay to have vi on systems that don't have it.

Re:You're welcome to them. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47585615)

You seem to be mistaking VI as something other than the amazing and universal toolset that it is.

If you want to use shit tools that are re-inventing the wheel, the loss is yours really.

Re: You're welcome to them. (1)

AcerbusNoir (1257586) | about 2 months ago | (#47585681)

You must be an emacs user with an attitude like that! ;)

Re:You're welcome to them. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47585727)

Your ignorance of what vi is and is capable of is astounding. I certainly wouldn't take you seriously about much after hearing you say this, and I'm not even a fan of vi.

Re:You're welcome to them. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47585831)

My preference is to use Notepad++ on Windows for everything, even when I have Visual studio, because it loads fast. If I'm going to compile things locally then I use Visual Studio.

On *nix OS's I use Midnight Commander editor (mcedit) if it's available, nano or pico if it's not, and only resort to vi when the system is obnoxious about using it (like editing crontab or passwd files, which BTW I do with MC anyway despite the archaic warnings.) MC has syntax highlighting and all the minimal BS I want to put up with that the plain text editors don't have.

Nobody needs to use VIM or Emac's anymore unless that's what they are comfortable using.

The article is about GUI text editors. See here's the thing, you can open the text editor in a command line prompt or ssh shell, anywhere, but using a GUI text editor is much more involved (a separate FTP or SFTP/SCP step is required to put the file where you want it.)

Re:You're welcome to them. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47585543)

I can't believe they picked Kate as the "winner". Kate is so unstable that it is unusable. I've tried it several times on several different systems, and the result is always the same: crash

Re:You're welcome to them. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47585595)

It's not that Kate is the best, but it's just that Kate is the least-shittiest of them all. Gedit's UI has gone retarded, thanks to the GNOME fucktards screwing up like they always do these days. jEdit has always been slow-as-shit because it's written in Java. Nobody's who uses Linux has ever really bothered with the other two.

Re: You're welcome to them. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47585777)

Spoiler alert... I my have wanted to read the article after reading all the comments...

Re:You're welcome to them. (1)

Ken_g6 (775014) | about 2 months ago | (#47585635)

I use GVim all the time. It can "highlight syntax and auto-indent code...spellcheck documents... [and] record macros". I don't see the point of managing code snippets - if you're using the same code multiple places you should take a DRY-er approach. And being an IDE is for Emacs people. ;P

Re:You're welcome to them. (2)

Volguus Zildrohar (1618657) | about 2 months ago | (#47586107)

There are many times where you repeat code and DRY does not apply. Common patterns that apply to different projects, but are mostly just grunt-work typing.

snipMate for Vim adds a nice version of code snippets. For example, I type "#!" in python scripts to add "#!/usr/bin/env python". It's a small single saving, but things like that add up over numerous scripts, and help avoid typos.

Re:You're welcome to them. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47585641)

Yeah, every once in a while I realize that I just hit escape after writing a mail at work in Thunderbird.

Try Sublime in 'vintage' mode. (1)

Marc_Hawke (130338) | about 2 months ago | (#47585665)

That's why I use Sublime Text. It has a 'vi' mode that works very well. (Well, it does the most common functions, but if you're a grand-master vi wizard you'll easily find things it doesn't do.)

That was the primary reason I allowed myself to try it. 'come for the 'vi' stay for everything else.' The good news is that it's a top-notch editor even without vi. The 'overview' slider on the right side is brilliant. There's a vibrant 'plugin community', and it's very customizable. Also it's multi-platform so I'm using exactly the same Editor on my Windows box at work as well as my Gnome sessions at home.

(I still use vi in my terminals.)

Re:Try Sublime in 'vintage' mode. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47585757)

I just tried it. It doesn't support Control-F or even :q / shift-zz. (at least by default). Not good enough.

Re:Try Sublime in 'vintage' mode. (2)

Marc_Hawke (130338) | about 2 months ago | (#47586021)

You're not supposed to close the windows. They just stay open all the time. (You don't even have to save them, it just keeps them up 'unsaved' the next time you come back. :w does work though, exactly as you'd expect.

You're welcome to them. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47585765)

Why do you think that it may not have been wise for you to do that? I did it and I think it's worthy.

Re: You're welcome to them. (2)

Eric Scott Chandler (3772511) | about 2 months ago | (#47585867)

I've been a faithful vi user for 15 years. I couldn't imagine using anything else at this point. Heck, I named my firstborn Vi. Ok, no I didn't.

Re: You're welcome to them. (2)

CaptnZilog (33073) | about 2 months ago | (#47586071)

I would have gone for "ed" maybe. ;)

Re:You're welcome to them. (1)

CaptnZilog (33073) | about 2 months ago | (#47586059)

Yeah, I've worked on everything from BSD SunOS4.x, Solaris, DEC Ultrix, SGI Irix, HPUX, Apollo Domain(BSD), UniPlus 68K stuff, Linux, Net/Free/OpenBSD, and I'm sure I'm missing something(s) in there, the one constant has been ed/vi. I can hop on pretty much any flavor of "unix" and get things done, not sure why I'd want to learn a new one when I'm pretty proficient in what I know now.

I'm sure there's some nice features in some of them, I just really haven't needed them (or not often enough to really care if it takes me a bit longer once in a blue moon to do something they might make easier).

Pfft (5, Insightful)

relisher (2955441) | about 2 months ago | (#47585457)

You can do all of this in Emacs and Nano. No need for some shiny new text editor...

Re:Pfft (4, Funny)

Stele (9443) | about 2 months ago | (#47585507)

Okay okay I'll get off your lawn!

Re:Pfft (1)

Em Adespoton (792954) | about 2 months ago | (#47585829)

Off his lawn?!?!?

He said nano -- the bastard child of pico.

Nano is the notepad of the POSIX world -- it eats line endings, messes up indentation, and makes a mess of config files -- just like pico did back in the day.

I still remember using elm with pico integration; it was great for writing an email, horrible for coding. I used emacs for that, until it started getting too unwieldy.

Now if I'm in a lightweight environment, I'll use ed. If I'm in a graphical environment, I'll use Sublime. If I'm in a terminal, I'll use vim. ...so the GP can get off MY lawn.

Re:Pfft (2, Insightful)

techno-vampire (666512) | about 2 months ago | (#47586093)

I've been using nano, or as I like to call it, "Mork's editor," for a number of years when I've needed (or wanted) to do text editing in a CLI environment under Linux and I've never had a bit of trouble with it, even with line endings. You just have to remember that in some places, such as /etc/fstab, you need to make sure there's a /n at the end of every line, including the last one. Of course, my bashrc includes alias nano='nano -w -m' which may well explain why I've had such good luck with it.

Re:Pfft (4, Interesting)

TheGoodNamesWereGone (1844118) | about 2 months ago | (#47586111)

Nano has gotten me out of a jam more times than I can count when I couldn't get X working. It's simple, easy to use, and works great.

Re:Pfft (5, Insightful)

Darinbob (1142669) | about 2 months ago | (#47586137)

Ya, I'm surprised by the summary. Apparently the author has not actually used emacs or vim, and instead listed the BARE MINIMUM set of features that any editor should support. Maybe the author came with a pre-existing bias against emacs and vi as "tools for old farts" and assumed any new tools must automatically be better.

What's there to compare? (4, Funny)

qw(name) (718245) | about 2 months ago | (#47585467)

none of which are named Emacs or Vim

What's there to compare? Everything else is just Notepad.

Re: What's there to compare? (5, Funny)

LocutusOfBorg1 (1549493) | about 2 months ago | (#47585509)

Exactly! --- sent from emacs

Re: What's there to compare? (2)

LocutusOfBorg1 (1549493) | about 2 months ago | (#47585561)

BTW that was a joke, I'm a proud vi(m) user, but I think emacs can also post on ./, vim cannot :-)

Re:What's there to compare? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47585533)

vi aka vi

I predate emacs (esc alt meta key) and it is on all unix systems. emacs is still spotty and sometimes you need to install it--vi is always there.

mqh

Re:What's there to compare? (2)

Em Adespoton (792954) | about 2 months ago | (#47585863)

vi aka vi

I predate emacs (esc alt meta key) and it is on all unix systems. emacs is still spotty and sometimes you need to install it--vi is always there.

mqh

Not true -- I've been in many situations where 'which vi' has returned nothing.

Now ed is always there -- any environment that doesn't contain ed is not worth being in. It's been the default since 1971, unlike newcomers such as vi that didn't show up until 1976.

Re:What's there to compare? (0)

tttonyyy (726776) | about 2 months ago | (#47585555)

none of which are named Emacs or Vim

What's there to compare? Everything else is just Notepad.

It's a bit like comparing comments between people that have and haven't RTFA. In that respect, you're Notepad. Lacking in substance. Unlikable. Liked by no one. A bitter, unlikable loner, whose passing shall not be mourned.

Re:What's there to compare? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47585661)

Awww. Look everyone. Noobs ego has been crushed. How cute.

Re:What's there to compare? (1)

amicusNYCL (1538833) | about 2 months ago | (#47585721)

Is the "noob" the guy with the ID 718245, or 726776? I can't tell. They're both, like, twice as old as me. Or something.

Re:What's there to compare? (4, Insightful)

zAPPzAPP (1207370) | about 2 months ago | (#47585563)

But Notepad(++) is pretty good...

Re:What's there to compare? (1)

idji (984038) | about 2 months ago | (#47585887)

it has no code explorer, showing you the function names

Re:What's there to compare? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47586039)

At some point you have to draw the line between a text editor and an IDE.

Re:What's there to compare? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47585631)

Yup. This is the rule of 'youth is wasted on the young.'. It is kind of like trying to explain to the stupid they are stupid. You simply cannot explain to the young how amazing Emacs and Vim are.

Re:What's there to compare? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47585695)

And most of them directly violate the "Luxury of Ignorance" guidelines.

Notepad++ is actually surprisingly good.

Re:What's there to compare? (1)

Austerity Empowers (669817) | about 2 months ago | (#47586119)

Notepad++ is my favorite, but windows only. It just has all the most important features. Since I'm not on Windows much anymore, I've had to move on... Atom is pretty decent on the Mac (ignoring how huge it is), Gedit is increasingly indecent and unstable, but it's close to Notepad++ in features.

Re:What's there to compare? (5, Interesting)

Arker (91948) | about 2 months ago | (#47585999)

So they did a text-editor roundup that excluded every serious contender in favor of 5 third-string also-rans.

I actually tried to read the text but it was too brain-numbingly stupid to get through. He's trumpeting all these wonderful features that... vi and emacs had in the 80s.

It's so true - 'those who do not remember Unix are condemned to re-invent it, poorly.'

GUI = fail (1)

Gothmolly (148874) | about 2 months ago | (#47585495)

When you're SSHd into a *BSD based firewall in China, you can't just bring up some fancy autocompleting GUI editor. You'll get vi (not vim!) and like it.

Re:GUI = fail (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47585583)

ssh -X

You'll thank me later.

Re:GUI = fail (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47585879)

I see you're used to Linux boxes with X installed. *BSD doesn't necessarily have X installed and it would be highly unlikely on a firewall box. Also, sshd might not have X11 forwarding turned on.

Not to mention, it's actually nvi not vi or vim.

Re:GUI = fail (-1)

AuMatar (183847) | about 2 months ago | (#47585585)

For the .1% of programmers who ever do that, it will matter. For the rest of us we'll use a GUI.

Re:GUI = fail (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47585809)

You would be surprised to find out that in fact it's far more than the 1%.

I't a shame because I really really wanted to be part of the 1%.

Re:GUI = fail (2)

techno-vampire (666512) | about 2 months ago | (#47586131)

I've had to clean up my desktop after an upgrade didn't finish properly and I only had a CLI to work with. Knowing how to use at least one non-GUI text editor and having that editor installed already was a life saver because without it I couldn't have gotten the network up again and without that, I couldn't have installed an editor. Remote admin is one good reason to know how to work without a GUI, but it's not the only one.

the only answer (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47585497)

nano is fine for starting out....but realistically, vim or go home.

What the fuck happened to gedit's UI? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47585499)

I used to use gedit on Linux a lot a few years ago. I then used OS X for a few years, but I recently moved back to Linux. One of the first things I did after getting Linux installed was try to edit some files using gedit. And my first reaction was: JESUS FUCKING CHRIST, WHAT IN THE FUCKING HELL DID THEY DO TO GEDIT'S UI?!

It used to have a good, traditional UI. There were useful menus and a toolbar, and it all worked very well. But now, JESUS FUCKING CHRIST, it looks stupid as all hell. There are no menus any longer, and the toolbar has been castrated into having like 4 buttons. The icons are pathetic, and don't indicate what the button actually does. Whoever the hell reworked the UI managed to break what was once a very usable text editor. Now it's rubbish.

It's like they took the idiotic UI design of Chrome and brought it over to gedit. And now gedit is useless to me! So I've moved on to Kate. At least the KDE crew hasn't gone completely fucking stupid like the GNOME dipshits apparently have.

Why the fuck did they have to ruin gedit's UI?

Re: What the fuck happened to gedit's UI? (2)

neiras (723124) | about 2 months ago | (#47585839)

As someone who actually likes GNOME Shell, I have to agree. The new-style GNOME apps are horrible. Over simplified, too much white space.

In particular the whole "move dialogue buttons to the window title bar" thing is jarring.

I just use Shell and ignore as much of the rest of GNOME as I can.

Geany (3, Informative)

lorinc (2470890) | about 2 months ago | (#47585567)

Where's geany? It's much better than gedit.

Re:Geany (4, Informative)

sayfawa (1099071) | about 2 months ago | (#47585793)

Agreed. Without geany there, this comparison is not very useful. Whenever I was using Linux, I missed notepad++, until I found out about geany.

Re:Geany (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47585883)

I'm a Windows user and I use Geany (have been using it for about 5 years). However, I have been tempted to give Sublime Text a go.

There can be only one.... (1)

ccanucs (2529272) | about 2 months ago | (#47585579)

vi or nothing. Not vim, not gvim, nvi or anything else. No A, B, C or D. :-)

Re:There can be only one.... (1)

TheMatt (541854) | about 2 months ago | (#47585609)

Bah! Young whippersnapper! We all know ed is the standard Unix text editor. In truth, I can barely use ol' vi now. I need the niceness that is vim.

Re:There can be only one.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47585645)

No Bloody...

Re:There can be only one.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47585663)

ed...

Re:There can be only one.... (2)

sl149q (1537343) | about 2 months ago | (#47585963)

No, you can teach us old Unix guys new tricks. Vim is a totally acceptable acceptable upgrade to vi. Just like bash is an acceptable upgrade to sh. And perl is definitely better than awk/sed.

We do draw the line at gvim though. And I've heard rumours of a new C like language that is object oriented... haven't tried it though.

depends on what you're doing (5, Interesting)

roc97007 (608802) | about 2 months ago | (#47585587)

Sorry if this is stating the obvious, but if you're a programmer who does lots of editing on a few machines, then pick the editor that best fits the job.

However, as an admin, I have long ago standardized on VI for the simple reason that it's included by default on every single *nix variant out there. (At least, in my experience.)

My cunning strategy breaks down with Windows, though. Notepad is so nasty to use that I find myself installing textpad or cygwin on the machines where I do most of my work.

Re:depends on what you're doing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47585739)

there is gvim for windows though...

Re:depends on what you're doing (1)

amicusNYCL (1538833) | about 2 months ago | (#47585763)

You might find it useful to stick the portable version of ConTEXT on a USB drive:

http://www.contexteditor.org/i... [contexteditor.org]

It hasn't been developed for 6 years, but I still have it installed just for its ability to open text files of several hundred megabytes in seconds. It's great as a lightweight editor for Windows.

Re:depends on what you're doing (1)

Krishnoid (984597) | about 2 months ago | (#47585783)

My cunning strategy breaks down with Windows, though. Notepad is so nasty to use that I find myself installing textpad or cygwin on the machines where I do most of my work.

One option here is to run a portable [portableapps.com] editor -- emacs also works in this mode -- from a shared drive or usb stick. You can try them all and if you don't like any of them, just delete the directory -- no uninstallation, system files, or registry settings to worry about.

Re:depends on what you're doing (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47585785)

However, as an admin, I have long ago standardized on VI for the simple reason that it's included by default on every single *nix variant out there. (At least, in my experience.)

FWIW, vi(1) is actually part of the POSIX specification. So you're guaranteed at least the base level of functionality (which is generally all you need to tweak /etc/hosts, etc.).

For heavier coding jobs something else can be useful, but for the basics: getting in, moving around, editing, and saving/quitting, are what you need to know. Anything after that is gravy.

Re:depends on what you're doing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47585889)

I started using gvim on windows and I never looked back. Give it a try:
http://www.vim.org/download.php#pc [vim.org]

Re:depends on what you're doing (2)

Rutulian (171771) | about 2 months ago | (#47585953)

However, as an admin, I have long ago standardized on VI for the simple reason that it's included by default on every single *nix variant out there. (At least, in my experience.)

While true, in my experience there is no reason why nano could not be included (and should be).

Re:depends on what you're doing (3, Insightful)

Darinbob (1142669) | about 2 months ago | (#47586135)

You essentially are required to install cygwin on all windows computers before they become marginally useful.

Ed man! !man ed (5, Funny)

kuzb (724081) | about 2 months ago | (#47585611)

( obligatory, credit to: https://www.gnu.org/fun/jokes/... [gnu.org] )

When I log into my Xenix system with my 110 baud teletype, both vi and Emacs are just too damn slow. They print useless messages like, ‘C-h for help’ and ‘“foo” File is read only’. So I use the editor that doesn't waste my VALUABLE time.

Ed, man! !man ed

ED(1) Unix Programmer's Manual ED(1)

NAME
          ed - text editor

SYNOPSIS
          ed [ - ] [ -x ] [ name ]
DESCRIPTION
          Ed is the standard text editor.
---

Computer Scientists love ed, not just because it comes first alphabetically, but because it's the standard. Everyone else loves ed because it's ED!

“Ed is the standard text editor.”

And ed doesn't waste space on my Timex Sinclair. Just look:

-rwxr-xr-x 1 root 24 Oct 29 1929 /bin/ed
-rwxr-xr-t 4 root 1310720 Jan 1 1970 /usr/ucb/vi
-rwxr-xr-x 1 root 5.89824e37 Oct 22 1990 /usr/bin/emacs
Of course, on the system I administrate, vi is symlinked to ed. Emacs has been replaced by a shell script which 1) Generates a syslog message at level LOG_EMERG; 2) reduces the user's disk quota by 100K; and 3) RUNS ED!!!!!!

“Ed is the standard text editor.”

Let's look at a typical novice's session with the mighty ed:

golem$ ed

?
help
?
?
?
quit
?
exit
?
bye
?
hello?
?
eat flaming death
?
^C
?
^C
?
^D
?
---

Note the consistent user interface and error reportage. Ed is generous enough to flag errors, yet prudent enough not to overwhelm the novice with verbosity.

“Ed is the standard text editor.”

Ed, the greatest WYGIWYG editor of all.

ED IS THE TRUE PATH TO NIRVANA! ED HAS BEEN THE CHOICE OF EDUCATED AND IGNORANT ALIKE FOR CENTURIES! ED WILL NOT CORRUPT YOUR PRECIOUS BODILY FLUIDS!! ED IS THE STANDARD TEXT EDITOR! ED MAKES THE SUN SHINE AND THE BIRDS SING AND THE GRASS GREEN!!

When I use an editor, I don't want eight extra KILOBYTES of worthless help screens and cursor positioning code! I just want an EDitor!! Not a “viitor”. Not a “emacsitor”. Those aren't even WORDS!!!! ED! ED! ED IS THE STANDARD!!!

TEXT EDITOR.

When IBM, in its ever-present omnipotence, needed to base their “edlin” on a Unix standard, did they mimic vi? No. Emacs? Surely you jest. They chose the most karmic editor of all. The standard.

Ed is for those who can remember what they are working on. If you are an idiot, you should use Emacs. If you are an Emacs, you should not be vi. If you use ED, you are on THE PATH TO REDEMPTION. THE SO-CALLED “VISUAL” EDITORS HAVE BEEN PLACED HERE BY ED TO TEMPT THE FAITHLESS. DO NOT GIVE IN!!! THE MIGHTY ED HAS SPOKEN!!!

Re:Ed man! !man ed (2)

countach (534280) | about 2 months ago | (#47585813)

Ha ha, but seriously all Programmers should know some basic ed.

Re:Ed man! !man ed (1)

CaptnZilog (33073) | about 2 months ago | (#47586087)

And if you know ed, you know edlin for windows/dos.
Believe it or not, I've had some machines so messed up at times, or on such slow connections, knowing ed/edlin came in handy.

Please tell me I'm wrong... (3, Insightful)

msauve (701917) | about 2 months ago | (#47585619)

Don't all of these text editors require a GUI? I prefer something which can work with a serial/telnet/(basic ssh) console, without all the unnecessary overhead of a GUI. I like joe (which can reasonably emulate emacs/pico, if you want), but can deal with vi if I have to.

Re:Please tell me I'm wrong... (1)

taoboy (118003) | about 2 months ago | (#47585713)

+1 for joe. I put a copy of it on every ttylinux VM I make, right after GNU tar. I forget why.

Re:Please tell me I'm wrong... (1)

Em Adespoton (792954) | about 2 months ago | (#47585897)

Why not just use ed? It should already be there....

Re:Please tell me I'm wrong... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47585751)

vi can be used in "ex" mode, i.e. line mode.

Re:Please tell me I'm wrong... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47585799)

+1 I usually use Vim and nano when I'm updating config, I like to work on console.

Re:Please tell me I'm wrong... (1)

mspohr (589790) | about 2 months ago | (#47585801)

“Ed is the standard text editor.”

Ed, the greatest WYGIWYG editor of all.

text editors (1)

Espectr0 (577637) | about 2 months ago | (#47585643)

i would like some text editors reviews as well, like nano, joe and others

Obligatory xkcd cartoon (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47585745)

          http://xkcd.com/378/

Even if you don't personally engage in editor wars, it's pretty funny. I'm afraid that the number of Slashdot articles best answered by an XKCD cartoon has remained surprisingly consistent.

Given that most of the tools in the mentioned article require a GUI to work from, and many of them are destabilized by their use of Java, I'm afraid that the article will remain aimed at GUI and web developers, not "real programmers". We who do real systems recovery or kernel level code development will continue to use "vi" for small tasks, "emacs" when we need full integration with source control systems or more powerful indentation..

When I'm editing on one of our Linux servers (1)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | about 2 months ago | (#47585749)

I'm generally using BBedit from my Mac. SFTP is my friend.

Besides, who wants all the extra kruft that goes along with Gedit or Kate on a server? In that case it's not the editor I'm objecting to - it's the 100 other required packages that go along with it.

Steep learning curve (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47585781)

Yeah, right, dat steep learning curve. I've wasted years using UltraEdit, because I was told that vim was too hard. One friday afternoon I fired up vimtutor, and it took me the following weekend to learn vim enough to do my work as good as with UltraEdit. From that moment on, I've spent years honing my vim skills, following a very slow but rewarding learning curve.

I've been editing (plain)text for living for the last 15 years, and I doubt I'd ever get as dedicated, thorough and precise in my work without vim. All those self-proclaimed no-learning-curve, get-the-job-done editors are inferior, and one should use them only if they actually need to do some ad-hoc work, which they actually don't even want to do.

Pick a proper tool for your job, not a toy.

Lugarus Epsilon is still the best editor. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47585841)

So there!

nedit (1)

cant_get_a_good_nick (172131) | about 2 months ago | (#47585853)

I still use nedit [nedit.org] , thought it hasn't had any decent upgrade in years. Nonmodal (modal is why I don't like vi/vim), simple, easy to hack regex based syntax highlighting (though that can be tripped up sometimes - I'm looking at you Perl), simple enough to get out of your way (I'm looking at you emacs), and fast with no lag (I'm looking at you jEdit).

Cowards! (1)

penguinoid (724646) | about 2 months ago | (#47585919)

Mayank Sharma of Linux Voices tests and compares five text editors for Linux, none of which are named Emacs or Vim.

Real men don their asbestos suit and compare the most useful and popular text editors as well. What's next, are we replacing car analogies with analogies to tunnel boring machines (so that we can compare something no one knows to something else no one knows)?

Nano? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47585923)

I like Nano more than Vi when SSH'ing. Just seems easier and does all that I need it to do.

Jed (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47585941)

Where's Jed? Why isn't anyone mentioning Jed? It's got Emacs bindings, it's really light-weight, and available by a simple apt-get.

Jed (1)

magi (91730) | about 2 months ago | (#47585961)

Where's Jed? Why isn't anyone mentioning Jed? It's got Emacs bindings, it's really light-weight, works on command-line, and is available by a simple apt-get.

"Fancy text editor"? Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47585987)

If you think any of these editors is "fancier" than VIM, you probably shouldn't be posting about text editors on the internet.

My favorite dig on emacs (0)

Sowelu (713889) | about 2 months ago | (#47586105)

"Emacs is a great operating system, if only it had a decent text editor!"

None of the Above are Much Good with ssh Sessions (1)

kjhambrick (111698) | about 2 months ago | (#47586113)

All --

None of the Gooey Editors mentioned are much good on remote terminal sessions.

Learn the basics for vi and you'll always be able to fix a remote host via a text-only console session,

Second place goes to emacs in my list because it's not available by default on all flavors of *NIX.

Otherwise, JED, JOE, NANO, PICO, etc are out there for the taking.

-- kh

What the FUCK (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47586115)

No Emacs? What the fuck is this shit!? No one gets anything of value done in Linux without Emacs!

Who else makes this mistake? (4, Insightful)

rossz (67331) | about 2 months ago | (#47586149)

I have a few text files on my Windows box with :wq scattered around in random locations.

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