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JOE Hits 3.0

timothy posted more than 9 years ago | from the tap-tap-clicka-tap dept.

Software 519

orasio writes " Joe's Own Editor , a unix editor very much like the old Turbo-Pascal 4 editor, or WordStar, used and enjoyed by us console freaks who still miss the old DOS days, and cannot finish understanding vi's modes, has been revamped, adding syntax highlighting and internationalization support after many years without new features. The Sourceforge project is open for contributors since a year ago, but this is the first major feature improvement, that brings new life to JOE as a neat console-based programmer's editor." Joe is one undervalued program -- less arcane than vi, less cumbersome than emacs.

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519 comments

Cool! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#8981733)

Thanks Slashmeat, you utter waste of electrons!

Anyone have a replica of MS-DOS EDITOR? (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#8981738)

Or something similar. Joe's editor still sucks. I can't believe -- it's 2004 and with NCURSES no one has made a drop-down menu driven editor YET???

Re:Anyone have a replica of MS-DOS EDITOR? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#8981764)

Freedos is open source. Perhaps maybe port Freedos edit.exe to Posix/Ncurses?

Re:Anyone have a replica of MS-DOS EDITOR? (5, Interesting)

Scott Robinson (108176) | more than 9 years ago | (#8981833)

Have you tried using Jed?

For the record, I'm was leaving Joe *right now* for Jed.

With version three, I think I'll take another look at my favourite editor.

Re:Anyone have a replica of MS-DOS EDITOR? (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#8981846)

holy fucking shit, i just did. jed rocks. thanks scott.

Fanboy......but...... (-1, Offtopic)

L-s-L69 (700599) | more than 9 years ago | (#8981742)

Im a huge fan of joe, I started using it on a 486 with my first linux install and still use it today but is this really front page news? Or is it just a slow news day?

Re:Fanboy......but...... (2, Interesting)

cerberusss (660701) | more than 9 years ago | (#8981747)

Well yeah since it now has Unicode support. Which is quite handy if you need to edit an XML document, HTML or something else with accents.

Re:Fanboy......but...... (3, Interesting)

eclectro (227083) | more than 9 years ago | (#8981853)

I think it is. I never knew about this project until now, and was quite afraid I was going to have to learn a new ide when I wanted to return to programming.

There are those of us who consider the turbo pascal interface an extension of our fingers, because we used it so heavily back in the day.

anyone really care? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#8981744)

there must be what? 0.001% of the readership who care. What a waste of time

VI is everywhere. (3, Insightful)

Moderation abuser (184013) | more than 9 years ago | (#8981760)

JOE isn't.

So when I learned vi, I could use the knowledge on every Unix system I've ever been on. That alone makes it more useful than JOE.

JOE's really JAE.

Re:Windows is everywhere. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#8981779)

UNIX isn't.

So when I learned Windows, I could use the knowledge on every computer I've ever been on. That alone makes it more useful than UNIX.

Re:Windows is everywhere. (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#8981804)

Dude, if Windows is everywhere you go, I simply don't want to hang out with you.

Re:Windows is everywhere. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#8981893)

You really should get out of your parents' basement more often.

The Real World uses Windows. Deal with it.

Re:VI is everywhere. (1)

drizst 'n drat (725458) | more than 9 years ago | (#8981784)

I totally agree with you on this point. I've taught Unix for many-a-years and that has been a common point that I've stressed to my students. That is: ed, ex, and vi are common editors found on all dialects of Unix. Know vi and you can get around anywhere!

Re:VI is everywhere. (1)

trewornan (608722) | more than 9 years ago | (#8981922)

This article was inevitably going to kick of the vi/emacs debate. Personally I learned just enough vi to open a file make a simple alteration and save the result. . . like you say it's always available which makes it useful. For anything more serious I use X?emacs - I find it much more comfortable.

Re:VI is everywhere. (1, Offtopic)

smitty_one_each (243267) | more than 9 years ago | (#8981991)

Emacs has vi modes.
I don't think vi can emulate Emacs.
Therefore, Emacs seemed the wiser route, IMHO.

Re:VI is everywhere. (5, Insightful)

not_a_product_id (604278) | more than 9 years ago | (#8981806)

This is what's been pushing me into learning vi (a process that isn't bad at all. just try the tutor - i think it's "vimtutor"). You KNOW that when you have to use an editor in an emergency vi will be there, JOE (or whatever else you prefer) probably won't. You DO NOT want to be learning vi as you try to repair a production server.

Re:VI is everywhere. (1)

fuzzix (700457) | more than 9 years ago | (#8981867)

You KNOW that when you have to use an editor in an emergency vi will be there, JOE (or whatever else you prefer) probably won't.

Indeed - since I do not yet(!) know vi the first command I enter on every Mandrake install (I choose mdk for friends' systems) is

# urpmi joe

JOE is a great editor, but I have to learn vi...
...that's it! I'm learning it tonight!

*cough

Re:VI is everywhere. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#8981911)

Try doing that on your University/Work system, and see how far it gets you.

Re:VI is everywhere. (2, Informative)

rugger (61955) | more than 9 years ago | (#8981955)

Meh,

I just installed JOE into my home directory at uni after I got sick of using VI. A few path tweaks and it all runs smoothly.

I can use VI, but I hate using it.

Re:VI is everywhere. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#8981983)

That's fine if you can get away with it.

I don't think the sysadmin at work would be happy with me doing that. Especially considering I'd need 3 copies - one for each architecture that the various servers run.

Re:VI is everywhere. (1)

mrscorpio (265337) | more than 9 years ago | (#8981966)

I agree with that analysis. Also, speaking as a casual Linux user who isn't entirely comfortable with the command line, learning enough Vi to edit a few lines of yum.conf or grub.conf or the xfree86 config file wasn't that bad. You learn how to switch into edit mode, edit stuff, learn how to switch back to command mode, learn how to save stuff, or to exit without save. I used to use Nano until I started playing with distros that don't have it by default (read: most). Now, I'm glad that I know enough Vi to get basic stuff done and I have Linux in a Nutshell and various online resources if I ever need more than the bare minimum knowledge.

Chris

Re:VI is everywhere. (4, Interesting)

lintux (125434) | more than 9 years ago | (#8981996)

You know, when you know how to use vim, you certainly don't automatically know how to use vi. Just try to edit a file on BSD using the default version of vi.

- Backspace key won't work correctly when you want to delete text which was there already before you entered insert mode.
- Forget about the delete key, you'll have to quit insert mode and use x. (And for some reason, when you leave insert mode, the cursor magically moves one position to the left)
- When you accidentally use your arrow keys at an unexpected moment, your file gets messed up and/or you sometimes automatically leave insert mode.

And well, I can imagine that it'll be even worse on older machines.

Re:VI is everywhere. (-1, Redundant)

NSash (711724) | more than 9 years ago | (#8981811)

You can run JOE on any UNIX.

In a world without the Internet, you'd have had half a point.

Re:VI is everywhere. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#8981828)

Yeah, I'll just fire up the ftp client and download JOE. And compile it. And configure it. Then I can get to work fixing this broken production server!

You assume that any given machine will be functional enough to have a working internet connection, which is stupid and wrong (So very, very wrong).

Re:VI is everywhere. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#8981836)

Umm....but what if the busted box at your facility is the one that connects you to the internet? (And it's 1:30am, so you can't pop next door to borrow their connection.)

Actually this could easily be solved by carrying a "toolbox" in the form of a mini-CD that has all your favorite tools on it.

Re:VI is everywhere. (2)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 9 years ago | (#8981940)

Yes you could run Joe on any Unix but it isn't installed on every Unix. Yea installing it is easy but when you explain to your boss why isn't the web server up yet is because you are installing an easier to use text editor because you can't use vi you will probably get a stern talking to at least. Also the Unix system may not have compilers installed on it. (Yes there are unix systems without compilers). The internet may be down. Or you using a really old terminal that doesn't support it. Installing Joe and my favorite Jed is good for a Unix system that you will be working on for a long time and will be doing a lot of changes. But for the quick fix I usually use vi.

Re:VI is everywhere. (1)

JamesTRexx (675890) | more than 9 years ago | (#8981953)

Yes, but you can't always get JOE on any *NIX or *BSD machine. I had to use vi on a few Suns because I had no opportunity to install a different editor.

Required Slashdot reading list (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#8981815)

did you hippies know that windows has, gasp, Word? Thats right, a nice, user-friendly editor. Emacs/Vi are more horrible then edit.com

Re:Required Slashdot reading list (1)

91degrees (207121) | more than 9 years ago | (#8981858)

I tried it. It's useless.

No indent assist, no syntax highlighting, and no interface to the C compiler.

Re:Required Slashdot reading list (1)

91degrees (207121) | more than 9 years ago | (#8981866)

I must remember to add context when replying to a stupid troll who is about to be modded down.

And to take control of slashgrot to remove this post limit threshold. I mean, what is it with this site? They come up with an idea to prevent abuse, and whether it works, or not, they stick with it.

Re:Required Slashdot reading list (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#8981876)

hahahhaah good one troll

Hey, do you have a life? No?

Shame.

I have a good job, I earn approx $120,000 a year in the IT industry. I read slashdot because while it contains a lot of shit, it also contains quite a lot of stuff that helped me get the job I have.
So, loser troll boy, yes you "won" by getting me to reply (be sure to ring all your troll friends to tell them, if they can get their 120kg frame out of their chair to answer the phone)

Good for you trollboy, I worship your intelligence.

A trolled person who doesn't realise I was trolled.

Re:VI is everywhere. (5, Interesting)

CoolGopher (142933) | more than 9 years ago | (#8981848)

I know what you mean. When I was dropped into doing system development on a Solaris based product I initially set out with the intention of finally learning emacs.

Well, long story short, I couldn't the sucker to compile/run/whatever (I've forgotten the details by now), so I decided not to waste any more time and instead improve my vi skills.

Best decision ever. Easily.
Now I have an extremely powerful, usable, lightweight editor that is available on every *nix under the Sun (ha ha).

Not to mention that starting up emacs on my old 386 would not be a pretty sight, considering that just doing "vi /etc/fstab" takes ~8secs before I can start editing...

This is not to say that Joe is bad/useless. I wouldn't say that, especially since I haven't used it. However, for me, and many others, it's not the most practical choice :)

Re:VI is everywhere. (1, Redundant)

56ker (566853) | more than 9 years ago | (#8981886)

What do you mean by JAE????

Re:VI is everywhere. (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#8981906)

just another editor

Re:VI is everywhere. (1)

mpmansell (118934) | more than 9 years ago | (#8981900)

That is an argument I have used for years. Vi, or a Vi like editor, is on virtually every Unix system in the wild.

However, it is not exactly the easiest of editors to learn (I remember the pain) and can be really frustrating when working on systems that run on Unix and Windows (ie web dev. Server runs (Li|U)nix while the pages are being developed for IE using DreamWeaver and VisualStudio. Having an editor that is similar to the less powerful (I'm almost a Vi zealot :) ) windows offerings can ease frustration and lower blood pressure when you just need to hop to the server to make a few changes.

Every Unix admin and developer should know Vi, but is nice to know that they aren't forced to use it when something else that suits them better is available :)

Cross Platform Editors (2, Insightful)

msobkow (48369) | more than 9 years ago | (#8981920)

There really is no shortage of cross-platform editors available -- it's mostly the IDE addicts that risk being locked into a platform-specific editor.

I use vi-derivatives like vim everywhere. There are no shortage of Win32-based implementations, both for text window and for GUI use.

GNU Emacs is also on any platform I've ever used, and MicroEmacs was almost as portable.

Then there are multi-platform IDE's like Eclipse or SunONE Studio.

I really don't understand why people lament when editors don't have more active support and new features. There just isn't much need for more editors unless someone comes up with a truly unique approach to manipulating text.

Re:VI is everywhere. (2)

lintux (125434) | more than 9 years ago | (#8981946)

Just on Unix? When you learn to magnetize your hard disk by hand with just the help of a magnet, you can use that knowledge on every computer ever made!

Seriously, knowing about vi is good for emergencies, but I don't want to be bothered by modes and lack of support for all those nice arrow keys on my keyboard.

Re:VI is everywhere. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#8982002)

Funny, and I thought you could name the stuff you make whatever you want (as long as it isn't any trademark copyright bs)

Re:VI is everywhere. (1)

Bluelive (608914) | more than 9 years ago | (#8982005)

And thats why i learned vi is a backup. I still use joe whenever it is available. (i did have a bit of trouble compiling joe3 on cygwin)

hmm.... (5, Funny)

k0d0 (648229) | more than 9 years ago | (#8981765)

does it have a calendar, calculator, email-client and of course tetris build in?

Make that Turbo Pascal 3... (4, Informative)

MavEtJu (241979) | more than 9 years ago | (#8981766)

Make that Turbo Pascal 3 which has the wordstar-like editor. Version 4 and later had a full blown GUI, which got later replaced by Borlands TurboVision IDE. Which made it, at least for me, the best CUI there was.

Re:Make that Turbo Pascal 3... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#8981981)

Well, you've got rhide or wpe.

Salva.

Oh boy... (-1, Offtopic)

Noryungi (70322) | more than 9 years ago | (#8981770)

Joe is one undervalued program -- less arcane than vi, less cumbersome than emacs.

Let the flame wars... begin! ;-)

And, just to add fuel to the fire:



cue the vi vs emacs flamewar!!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#8981771)

all hell is about to break loose. Authors should know never to put vi and emacs in the same sentence especially on slashdot.

I want semware Qedit (2, Interesting)

djplurvert (737910) | more than 9 years ago | (#8981775)

I want Qedit for unix. It's macros were extremely usable on the fly and I've found nothing else that balance of power and features that it had.

Column copy, split windows, multiple macros that could be quickly defined by a simple to use keystroke recorder. Completely configurable. Oh, and fast and small.

I've tried most of the unix terminal editors. I end up using either vi or nano.

plurvert

Re:I want semware Qedit (1)

noselasd (594905) | more than 9 years ago | (#8981799)

Perhaps you should try vim ? Learn its keystrokes. You can make
nice macros. Has column copy, split windows, multiple copy/paste buffers and quite a few hundred other nice features to increase productivity.

Re:I want semware Qedit (1)

djplurvert (737910) | more than 9 years ago | (#8981816)

I have tried vim. It isn't qedit. Just curious, did you ever use qedit? It's more than just the features, it's the right combination of features and ease of use. vim, and even vi have plenty of features, they're just not as accessible as qedit was. Qedit has a menubar as well as shortcuts for everything.

plurvert

Re:I want semware Qedit (1)

sebster (62996) | more than 9 years ago | (#8981850)

You probably want to add units to that sig, you never know who ways themselves in metric tons. :-)

Re:I want semware Qedit (1)

djplurvert (737910) | more than 9 years ago | (#8981914)

Ya got a point there. Metric tons hell, I don't even want to think about kilos...ewwww!!

plurvert

Joe vs. vi vs. GUI based editors (5, Interesting)

Bapu (26118) | more than 9 years ago | (#8981777)

Everyone should use Joe because CTRL-k-d is so much easier and more intuitive than ESC :wq!

Joe was a nice alternative for DOS refugees when vi was the only other choice, but X-windows based editors make everything nicer...try middle click cut-and-paste for starters.

Unless we are all sitting at green Wyse 50 terminals, why are we still so married to command line editors? I am guilty of it too. vi is my God.

Re:Joe vs. vi vs. GUI based editors (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#8981803)



ctrl-k-d is not intuitive at all.

ctrl-s is, like 's' for 'saving' :-)

GUI editors can't fix XF86Config, want edit clone (2, Insightful)

spaceturtle (687994) | more than 9 years ago | (#8981847)

Clearly GUI editors aren't much use until you can get X running. I use vi my self, but none of the existing Linux text mode editors use the "standard" keyboard shortcuts such as cntl-c for copy. To old win/dos users I would recommend pico as the least esoteric of the non-X editors. Does anyone know of a win98 edit.com clone for linux?

Re:GUI editors can't fix XF86Config, want edit clo (3, Informative)

Blackknight (25168) | more than 9 years ago | (#8981916)

It's not a clone but mcedit is pretty nice. It's included with the mc program which is also a nice file manager.

Re:GUI editors can't fix XF86Config, want edit clo (2, Informative)

bplipschitz (265300) | more than 9 years ago | (#8981978)

Clearly GUI editors aren't much use until you can get X running. I use vi my self, but none of the existing Linux text mode editors use the "standard" keyboard shortcuts such as cntl-c for copy. To old win/dos users I would recommend pico as the least esoteric of the non-X editors. Does anyone know of a win98 edit.com clone for linux?

Actually, for Windows users migrating over to *nix, 'ee' [easyeditor] would be much more intuitive. The only problem [as I see it] with ee is the different implementations between different platforms--different control key sequences for the same action, depending upon OS.

Why is that?

Re:Joe vs. vi vs. GUI based editors (1)

Max Romantschuk (132276) | more than 9 years ago | (#8981884)

Unless we are all sitting at green Wyse 50 terminals, why are we still so married to command line editors?

Personally I like the fact that I can just download Putty and SSH into a familiar environment. Special purpose GUI editors are usually great for a given task, but nothing beats a properly configured general purpose text-based editor at random editing tasks.

Re:Joe vs. vi vs. GUI based editors (1)

cerberusss (660701) | more than 9 years ago | (#8981897)

why are we still so married to command line editors?

For the same reason everyone prefers shellscripting instead of a visual development environment, prefers a good comfortable shell to a file explorer, prefers multiple separate windows instead of MDI, etc. Everyone is just used to it?

Re:Joe vs. vi vs. GUI based editors (3, Insightful)

Garak (100517) | more than 9 years ago | (#8981909)

CTRL-c to exit without saving
CTRL-k, s save
CTRL-k, x exit and save
CTRL-k, b start block
CTRL-k, k end blow
CTRL-k, c copy/paste block
CTRL-k, f find ...

vi has a steep learning curve, no onscreen help, it trapped me too many times for me to give it a chance whe I first started out.

Joe was the only one besides pico with on screen help that I could find in my early slackware days. It stuck and I still use it all the time. In the mean while I've still learned enough vi to use it when I have to.

Re:Joe vs. vi vs. GUI based editors (1)

k0d0 (648229) | more than 9 years ago | (#8981954)

CTRL-k, x exit and save hmm I wonder if that makes sense, exit and then save ;)

Great news, but.. (4, Insightful)

manavendra (688020) | more than 9 years ago | (#8981778)

realistically, how many ppl use Joe?

Yes I've used wordstar in past. And Joe as well. But it seems to me the world has moved far far ahead in the last few years. Sure, vi and emacs lovers wouldnt even think of using any other editor, but IMO, for any serious editing purposes there already are a variety of editors available.

So perhaps, this is news for those who get a nostalgic feeling about the good-old-days. Maybe some will even d/l and give it a go, but the very fact that the this is the first major feature improvement even though the SourceForge project has been open for contributors for over a year, speaks volumes about its usage, demand and popularity.

Re:Great news, but.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#8981877)

I use it for smaller tasks, and Jed for programming for the syntax highlighting... I even wrote Joe-like bindings [iki.fi] for Jed. But maybe now I can move back to using just Joe and nothing else.

Re:Great news, but.. (2, Insightful)

lintux (125434) | more than 9 years ago | (#8981969)

There are more Joe-users than you'd expect. When I started with Linux, about seven years ago, I tried out all editors, and joe was the only sane editor I could find. And once you get hooked, it's hard to switch to something else.

And so far I haven't found any reason to switch to a new editor. Not even joe 3.0. Joe 2.8 is almost completely bug-free, while the version currently available at SourceForge is quite buggy, not very portable anymore, and in fact it just doesn't really have any new feature worth upgrading...

Re:Great news, but.. (1)

manavendra (688020) | more than 9 years ago | (#8981995)

Oh I'm sure there are plenty of Joe afficionadoes. But that's not what I'm contending at all. It's a free world (at least most of it), and people are free to have their choices and preferences

Its the bit about investing time and energy into revamping something that only the afficionadoes will use, and admire. The bit that says the project has been open for contribution for over a year with not very many feature updates. And the bit in your post itself that talks about the latest build being buggy

So it is a great editor, it has its following - but where is it going? And for how many ppl?

Screenshots, anyone? (0, Offtopic)

JC-Coynel (250322) | more than 9 years ago | (#8981780)

Less arcane than vi, less cumbersome than emacs
All right, I guess it is a slow day, as Slashdot editors have to start a flamebait topic to get some people to post.

I propose the next topic about new Windows functionalities contains something like "take it ta ya face, you penguin prick". That should do the trick also.

Where are the screenshots, anyway?

Re:Screenshots, anyone? lol! (1)

manavendra (688020) | more than 9 years ago | (#8982004)

you know something's wrong somewhere when screenshots of a character-based interface are asked for :-

ps: no offence intended

JOE is your friend.... (5, Insightful)

LoboRojo (758260) | more than 9 years ago | (#8981781)

Cannot believe the bunch of negative comments on Joe... what are you trolling about? In the old times, for most people getting into Linux from DOS, JOE was the only editor worth to be relied on. vi was cryptic as hell and emacs was... emacs.

Long life dear old JOE!

My Sweet Joe Memories (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#8981782)

When I started at the university ten years ago, I was confronted with editors like vi, pico and emacs. Emacs was usually the last choice since the old Sun IPX:es had a hard time coping with ONE operating system. My first confrontation with vi gave me panic and I killed it, only to receive a death notice by mail shortly after. (It took 2 years until I dared starting it again). Joe was one of the few programs I managed to save in (because I used pine, I guess), so I stuck with that.

Later I had an affair with Jed and found its syntax hiliting to be a bless. And, I could figure out how to get the background black!

Now, I've grown up and am much to comfortable to develop in anything less than a good IDE.

/Pung

pah! (2, Insightful)

chegosaurus (98703) | more than 9 years ago | (#8981789)

Give me CygnusEd or give me death! Now there was a text editor.

BTW, had to smile at the end of the editorial - as if anything could be more arcane than vi and/or more cumbersome than EMACS!

Wordstar Like (2, Insightful)

advocate_one (662832) | more than 9 years ago | (#8981795)

that's a turnoff for a start... and an awfull lot of the younger slashdotters will be going "Wordstar"??? Yes kids... it was big but Wordstar failed to keep up in the feature race back in the days of Wordperfect for Dos etc... I use nano and or pico myself...

Re:Wordstar Like (1)

NSash (711724) | more than 9 years ago | (#8981829)

Ah, pico. Now _there's_ a real man's text editor!

Re:Wordstar Like (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#8981927)

No it's not. It's only really used by people who are used to the horrid PINE email client.

yawn (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#8981797)

It must be a slow news day. The only thing that seems to be happening is people getting modded down for expressing their lack of enthusiasm for this article.

I want my thirty seconds back.

Emacs is not cumbersome! Emacs is Lucid! (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#8981830)

%subj%

Why vim is better than joe (and obviously emacs) (3, Interesting)

Andreas(R) (448328) | more than 9 years ago | (#8981843)

Let me just recap the well known reasons why vim is better then joe:

vim is upward compatible to vi.
So if you master vim you can edit with vi. vi is on every unix box, even on the most "naked" ones.
In addition, vi runs on practically any terminal and any connection, even when logged in from half around the world through several "hops". (I'm typing this on an old Ampex terminal (vt 100 like) via a 9600 Baud connection.)


# vim works like you think.
Many commands are "mnemonic". In a recent post, Randy has put it quite nicely:


As I said earlier, vi works like I think. I think "replace this word with that one;" "delete this line;" "yank this paragraph and put it down there;" "move there and insert a word;" "format this paragraph." Vi provides commands that map to how I think. Some of the time I'm just typing in text without editing it, but normally I'm editing text. I tend to write something, then go back and make it perfect. I prefer to copy something that is already there and then modify it to be what I need. This expresses very well what I believe has been a major design goal of vi!


# Now for the modal/modeless controversy.
If you really think about it, it boils down to the following: it's a matter of how you define "modal"/"modeless"; in other words: if vim is modal, so is emacs - if emacs is modeless, so is vim.
The reason: in emacs you are by default in "insert" mode; you have to type "ctrl-m ..." to issue an editor command; so "ctrl-m" is actually a switch to command mode). In vim, you are by default in command mode; when in insert mode, you type and then some command, and then i to get into insert mode again.
While programming, you are at least half of the time in command mode (if you are an Emacs user you might not be aware of that because nobody calls it like like that). The difference between Vim and Emacs is that most most Vim commands are mnemonic and need much less modifier keys, such as Ctrl, Alt, etc.


# I believe that modal editors are more efficient for programming (and similar tasks, like writing latex).
This is because I find myself much more often editing text which is already there, rather than producing new text which hasn't been there before.
This goes well with the observation, which someone reported in the comp.editors news group about joint strain. I almost get joint strain myself when I see emacs users holding down the ctrl or alt key all the time with their pinky or thumb ;-) ...


# I'm not sure what the reason is, but I've never seen emacs users who actually used all those feature which emacs-the-editor offers. (At the office, I'm surrounded by emacs and nedit users ;-) I mean features like marks, tags, jumping up/down paragraph-wise, jumping to the beginning/end of a function, searching identifiers in all include files, etc....
I suspect, this is because it's simply just too difficult to remember all those ctrl-alt chords. :) [no offense intended!]


# Speed: CPU-wise, vim is still by far more efficient than joe.
Try running joe on an SGI Indy! Or on a PC/286!

Re:Why vim is better than joe (and obviously emacs (1, Funny)

Deag (250823) | more than 9 years ago | (#8981938)

All that is very nice, but everyone knows real programmers use MS Word.

Re:Why vim is better than joe (and obviously emacs (1)

mpmansell (118934) | more than 9 years ago | (#8981980)

Should that not be 'reel programmers', after they have run the spool chucker ?? :)

Re:Why vim is better than joe (and obviously emacs (2, Insightful)

mpmansell (118934) | more than 9 years ago | (#8981970)

All reasons why I love Vim so much and make sure I have it on all my machines be they Linux, Solaris, BSD or WhineDoze


However, Editors like Joe still have their little niche in the software ecosystem since they are small (not sure how big the new one is yet, hope it doesn't make this comment look foolish by dwarfing Emacs :) ), runs on pretty much anything that supports curses and for smaller jobs quick and simple to use.


Much as I like Vi, sometimes there are editing tasks that are more intuatively done in Nedit or Joe


Regarding Emacs users only using a subset of commands, what is wrong with this? In fact, how many Vim users know or use all the commands? Like Emacs, it is safe to say that some commands are little enough used, or complex enough to confuse and lead people to solve the problem another way. For a normal mortal example, take regexes. I have used Vi and Unix style regexes almost every day for the last 15 years. Even so, I still have cause to stop and think about some solutions. Some incantations probably do look like they should be done at midnight under a full moon :)


My argument with an editor has always been practicality. If you can use a subset to get your job done, then why worry is you don't learn anything else?

Value (4, Insightful)

mpmansell (118934) | more than 9 years ago | (#8981865)

I was browsing this article armed with moderator points, but the quality of the initial few posters has irritated me enough to make a post myself.

The old hands among us will remember and still have the hidden ability of WordStar keystrokes 'programmed' into our fingers. While many of us have moved on to more powerful editors, we still appreciate that Wordstar like editors give efficient and competent editing capabilities in a small package. There are many of us that don't like drop down menus since we actually spend time writing code and find the action of hunting a mouse menu cumbersome.Deriding these tools because they are DOS like is irrelevant

While I don't often use it, Joe is a good example of this class of editor and I know many people who enjoy using it. While I am firmly in the Vi camp, I enjoy the fact that they have the choice to use a tool that suits them.

However, with the addition of syntax colouring, it may well become my editor of choice (instead of nedit) for when I'm doing multiplatform work and the practical and psychological leap of hopping from a WhineDoze box with Visual Studio to a linux box with Vi (utterly different paradigm) causes tangled fingers (and nerves :) )

(Please feel free to donate large sums to pay for my treatment when windows finally drives me nuts)

On a more general /. rant, over the last few years more an more trolls have invaded our forum. Too many socially defective individuals think that purile comments and insults are somehow witty, even though they have nothing of value to add to the discussion. All too often I see the hard work of developers who are donating their creations to our community belittled by people who I doubt even have the skills of a script kiddy.

Please people, if you have nothing of value to say, then just don't say it.

Re:Value (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#8981905)

I was browsing this article armed with moderator points, but...

Get a life!

Ouchie (-1, Flamebait)

the_mad_poster (640772) | more than 9 years ago | (#8981871)

Joe's Own Editor , a unix editor very much like the old Turbo-Pascal 4 editor, or WordStar, used and enjoyed by us console freaks who still miss the old DOS days, and cannot finish understanding vi's modes, has been revamped, adding syntax highlighting and internationalization support after many years without new features.

Does it happen to have a grammar checker? That's such an egregious abuse of punctuation that I actually had to read it three times to try and figure out what the point of the sentence actually was. Bad grammar and punctuation is one thing, but when it starts interfering with the point of the statement, there's a problem (but then, why would an editor actually edit anything, right).

It's fine (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#8981949)

You're just a typical American with poor reading comprehension. Isn't it something like 50% of Boston that's functionally illiterate? At least you're not alone.

Editors for DOS migrants (2, Insightful)

carndearg (696084) | more than 9 years ago | (#8981874)

I used to use JOE but moved to vi when I found myself working on more JOE-less machines. I used because it had the Wordstar keys I was used to from the DOS editor I used at the time. There are still a lot of people out there with DOS skills who find life difficult when moving to a Linux or similar environment. For many this might seem like a retrograde step, but I have often wished that there was a port of the DOS 5 Edit interface on a Linux editor, complete with clunky MS style menu system. If people are to be encouraged to move operating systems, a few familiar looking tools would help them along their way.

fte (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#8981910)

I prefer fte [sourceforge.net] .

You are what you write in! (0, Flamebait)

SharpFang (651121) | more than 9 years ago | (#8981917)

Jargon file: :joe code: /joh' kohd`/ n. 1. Code that is overly {tense} and
unmaintainable. "{Perl} may be a handy program, but if you look at the
source, it's complete joe code." 2. Badly written, possibly buggy code.

Is it as good as notepad? (2, Interesting)

SMOC (703423) | more than 9 years ago | (#8981918)

Can it corrupt EOL characters like notepad can on WinXP?

try it: type a few lines in notepad, and then use Ctrl-Leftarrow to go back to the end of a previous line. start typing again, and presto, you've successfully split the CR from the LF.

one word: mcedit (3, Interesting)

ironhide (803) | more than 9 years ago | (#8981934)

I use mcedit contained in Midnight Commander [ibiblio.org] , more nostalgia and userfriendliness than either Joe or Pico. It also has a nice blue color which remind me of the days of dos edit or wp5.1. Screenshot here [eitn.wau.nl] .

Re:one word: mcedit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#8981974)

Speaking of nostalgia, that screenshot gave me a GW-BASIC 3.2 flashback.

10 BEEP
20 GOTO 10
RUN

Oh the joy of being 8 years old.

VI versus JOE (1)

Phidoux (705500) | more than 9 years ago | (#8981957)

Why does it have to become a VI versus JOE issue? I've used VI and JOE and my personal preference is JOE. Even if JOE isn't on every single *nix box it town, personally I'm glad to hear about the new release and I'll sure be using it.

"cannot finish understanding vi's modes" ? (2, Insightful)

slim (1652) | more than 9 years ago | (#8981958)

"cannot finish understanding vi's modes"?

Give over, man. It has *two* modes! You can always get back to the default mode by hitting escape.

Even iPod has 2 modes (wheel fer scrolling / wheel fer volume)

Now Emacs, that's another matter. I've put serious effort into learning Emacs on three separate occasions in the last 10 years, and every time I gave up because even the simplest thing requires you to remember a seriously obscure series of keystrokes.

-sigh- should have learned not to join editor flamewars by now.

joe, jed, vi, vim? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#8981959)

EDLIN!

Enough said.

"Get Moose and Squirrel"

A first step, but Unicode support is incomplete (4, Informative)

lokedhs (672255) | more than 9 years ago | (#8981961)

Joe does not have proper unicode support, contrary to what many people claim. It only supports BMP, the fist 64K of characters out of the more than 1 million possible characters.

If you load a file with non-BMP characters in it they will come out as garbage. If you try to input any such characters it will mess up every single characters except those with a code point less than 128.

Job interview question (2, Interesting)

dargaud (518470) | more than 9 years ago | (#8981973)

At a recent job interview I was asked whether I prefer vi or emacs. My answer was none of them. If there's no X then pico/nano is probably enough to get the system up and running. And then I can use nedit in X. Anything else will be missing from the system.

BTW, nano is the editor of choice in the Gentoo [slashdot.org] setup. Good for them.

I didn't get the job...

RE: JOE Hits 30 (1)

Siddly (675342) | more than 9 years ago | (#8981982)

Many years ago a colleague remarked that the lack of a good editor was the one thing holding Unix back and I had to agree. I've been using vi for over 21 years and I only use what I need and no more. Joe and basic emacs demand piano virtuoso skills and I can only play plectrum guitar, not having developed the dexterity with the right hand digits. I could in 5 minutes teach anyone to use the MVS editor SPF which was also ported to DOS as SPFPC. I now have cooledit in the locker for when I need to do some heavy editing, but there must be others providing the same ease of use. Yeeeeeeuuukkkkk!, many Solaris people use "ksh -o vi" to edit the command line, shunning bash, that's on par with texting on a mobile phone, it's a disgusting waste of time.
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