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On Text Editors

   22 October 2007, late morning

I think every programmer should know how to use vi. It’s a small lean text editor that is usually found running on pretty much any Unix box you may find yourself in front of. I’m not saying you should know all the ins and outs of vi, but you should be able to start typing away if need be. I also think every programmer should know enough about Emacs that they can quit the program if they ever open it by accident. (FYI: Control-X Control-C will do the trick.)



  1. Hater.
    Most everybody I know that uses vi doesn’t even really know how to use it properly to do things the fastest. Saving macros and repeating actions is probably the best feature of it I’ve used on a regular basis.

    Emacs is still better for programming though. Multiple file and multiple window support in emacs is way better than in vi.

  2. I like to make fun of Emacs because I have no idea how it works. It’s like that obelisk at the start of 2001 that makes the monkeys beat each other to death with bones.

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