John Heim jheim at math.wisc.edu
Thu Nov 1 11:20:21 EDT 2007

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Albert E. Sten-Clanton" <albert.e.sten_clanton at verizon.net>
To: "Speakup is a screen review system for Linux." <speakup at braille.uwo.ca>
Sent: Thursday, November 01, 2007 9:41 AM
Subject: Re: editors

>I started with Emacs, but mostly use vi--or, more precisely, vim.  You can 
>screw yourself royally if you forget what mode you're in.  Also, I've found 
>that, unlike with Emacs, I don't hear what I'm backspacing over.  Those are 
>the drawbacks I live with regularly.  As long as I remember what mode I'm 
>in, though, I find it much easier to move around a document in vim than in 
>Emacs, easier to copy and paste blocks of text, and much easier to change 
>the settings that kick in when I start it.  (I still don't know how to set 
>autofill on or the line length to wrap at permanently in Emacs:  it's 
>doubtless somewhere in the manual, but sure not easy to find.) Also, I find 
>the Emacs keystrokes often a nuisance, especially especially because 
>there's only one working alt key, which apparently is a Linux thing.

Wow, that's interesting.  Don't take this as a criticism by any means but 
I've  never heard of anyone switching from emacs to vi. Although, I've sort 
of done that myself. I used emacspeak for years. But now that I primarily 
use speakup, I use vi as my editor.  Emacs is hard. I guess so is vi in it's 
own way.

Actually, what I usually do is edit files remotely on a Windows machine. I 
use a tool called sftpdrive. You can map a Windows drive letter to a machine 
that runs ssh and edit files like they were on any other network share. Very 

One thing bad about linux editorsYou have to learn them. I can switch from 
notepad to TextPad to UltraEdit without having to figure out what keystrokes 
to use with each program. Home puts you at the beginning of the line. 
Shift+cursordown marks the line. Shift+Del cuts the line. Shift+Ins pastes 
it. Control+f,s saves the file.

They all have their own keys for the fancy stuff but you can do the basics 
without learning anything about the editor.

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