[rescue] emacs vs. Word!, was Re: SUN PCMCIA SBus Card

Dave McGuire mcguire at neurotica.com
Mon May 28 08:13:40 CDT 2018

On 05/28/2018 08:51 AM, Liam Proven wrote:
> A menu bar at the top, with File first, then Edit, View, etc. and ending in
> Help.
> Ctrl on PCs, Cmd on Macs, but always:
> Ctrl-C to copy, Ctrl-X to cut, Ctrl-V to paste. Ctrl-O to open a file,
> Ctrl-S to save it. Ctrl-F to find text.
> Block selection is always shift+cursor keys, then you can act on the block.
> There are less-known ones too -- Ctrl+cursor left/right moves a word at a
> time, for instance.
> The subset that are relevant work in text-entry boxes in basically every
> GUI as well.
> With joy and relief, I let myself forget all that arcane 1980s nonsense and
> relax into a standard interface.
> Since the mid-1980s, all keyboards also broadly conform to the IBM Extended
> layout, with cursor keys, Ins/Del, Home/End, PgUp/PgDn, etc. They *all*
> have Ctrl and Alt. Some may have an Apple or Cmd or Windows key too, but
> all have Ctrl and Alt.
> It is nearly 30 years since standardisation prevailed.
> I refuse to even attempt to use any editor that doesn't conform to this. I
> don't care what advantages it has, I don't care how powerful it is. There
> is a standard now. Use it. No excuses and no exceptions.
> I don't have a Super key or a Meta key, and neither does anyone else,
> because they stopped being on people keyboards when Lisp Machines went
> away.
> If the editor's help and tutorial and manuals refer to keys I don't have, I
> ain't using it.
> Time moves on. Standards change. There is a standard for text editors now.
> I will gladly consider Emacs when it finally moves into 1985 and uses the
> standard menus, the standard names for keys, the standard keystrokes, the
> standard terms for "files" and "windows" and "clipboard" and so on.
> If it doesn't, then it's a flat nope.
> There have been attempts. I'm a rotten programmer but I'm tempted to try to
> learn Emacs Lisp and do it myself, because I have heard that there's
> functionality in there I would like. But I absolutely refuse to step back a
> third of a century and use a non-standard UI. Life is too short.

  Well if it's ok with you, or even if it's not, I'll keep using the
far-superior-for-programming-editing UI that has been standardized in
the emacs world (and more importantly for me, the world of my fingers)
for longer than that, because life is too short for arbitrary changes
made for no benefit.

  By the way, my (unmodified) emacs' menu bar is at the top, and it
starts with File, Edit (no "view", sorry), and ends in Help.

  Changing the keys to make it conform to other editors would result in
a loss of functionality.  "Find"?  Really?  Do you understand how many
types of searches emacs implements?  How many types of "paste"?  There
are even three distinct ways to "Open" a file...there are surely
actually more than that, but those three are just the ones I happen to
have used so far this morning.  It's not an editor for simpletons!

  But seriously.  An emacs vs. vi (or anything else) war?  We really
haven't gotten past that?  It was A FRIGGIN' JOKE, children!  Once again
I'm sorry I even mentioned it.  I've learned my lesson.

  Thirty years ago it was the vi-tribesmen that came forth.  Now it's
the "why isn't this identical to Word!!" tribesmen.  WTF!  Complaining
about a free tool that enhances my ability to make a living that nobody
is forced to install?  Wow.


Dave McGuire, AK4HZ
New Kensington, PA

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