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On Mon, 16 Apr 2007 09:27:00 -0400
Dan Ritter <dsr at> wrote:

> Sorry, they both have their place.
> vi is always there. It handles lousy connectivity and poor terminal
> emulation gracefully, all the way down to dumb-teletype ex mode. When
> you log in to a strange system, vi is available and works much the same
> way as it does anywhere else. Sysadmins use vi.
IMHO, not only should sysadmins be proficient in VI, but developers
should also be comfortable with it. I learned vi back in the Unix
version 6 days :-).  Vi is a very powerful editor that has a lot of
advanced features that many people are just not aware of.

> Emacs is powerful. You can build a custom environment that does things
> your way, as long as your way is compatible with the Emacs way. Life
> can be easier with Emacs. You can do anything inside Emacs, and
> some people do everything there. Serious programmers use Emacs.
I agree here. In Emacs, I edit a large number of files simultaneously,
I compile inside Emacs, run diff (eg. ediff). Emacs is a language
sensitive editor that not only does paren and curly brace matching,
indents, but also can do syntax coloring. It has modules for just about
every computer language as well as html. 

> Everyone who works on a UNIX system needs to know two things about both
> Emacs and vi: how to exit without saving, and how to exit and save at
> the same time.
Disagree. I would certainly apply this rule to system admins and
developers. But there are now a lot of excellent editors that people
can use instead of Emacs and Vi. I don't think a Linux desktop user
really needs to know either. In my Linux course, I teach both, but I
have added other editors, such as gedit and kate. 

Jerry Feldman <gaf at>
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