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

Liam Proven lproven at gmail.com
Mon May 28 08:30:07 CDT 2018

On Mon, 28 May 2018 at 15:13, Dave McGuire <mcguire at neurotica.com> wrote:

>    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.

Of course it's absolutely fine.

>    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.

[1] Oh really? On the console, without X?
[2] The standardisation also applies to the shared options on those menus,
and the menus in between, of course.

>    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?

Don't care. Conform or GTFO.

>   How many types of "paste"?

See previous answer.

> 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!

Don't care. I am no simpleton. But like it or not, there has been a world
standard for text editor UI for about 35 years now. I am not interested in
anything else. The existence of this standard has vastly simplified my work
in every position I've had since 1990 or so and it has improved computing
in general.

>    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.

Nope. I hate vi as well. I use Tilde on my own systems:


>    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.

If the tool is that good, don't you want other people to use it too? Don't
you want it to spread?

Or do you want it to wither away and slowly die?

Then it must join the standards club.

FTAOD, I have absolutely no problem with whatever weird UI old hands prefer
still being there and selectable, but if it doesn't look like Notepad,
basically, I won't use it and neither will 99.999% of the next 2 or 3
billion people who will be getting computers for the first time in the next

This battle is lost. It's over. It was over last century. There are 2
holdouts ignoring it: vi(/vim/elvis/whatever) and Emacs. The others, like
Joe or Pico, are rounding errors.

Vi is deeply modal, which alone rules it out for me, and _couldn't_ be made
to conform to the CUA model without it not being Vi any more.

Emacs, AFAICS, could be. Indeed compared to all else it does, it would be
relatively trivial.

I am aware of ErgoEmacs, which starts the job and makes the editor just
about bordering on usable for me. However, while Xah Lee's version works, I
can't get the version in the ELPA repository to install.

The instructions tell you how to add it to your existing config file. I
don't have an existing config file. It's a new install. And of course,
because it's crufty 1970s stuff, there are about 3 possible names in 2
places, probably more. So I don't know where to put it, so the instructions
don't work. I have experimentally replicated this on Ubuntu, openSUSE,
Fedora and Windows.

I've asked on the mailing list; they don't really seem to be interested in
helping, unfortunately.

It really needs some TLC from an expert, and experts, alas, don't care
about this issue.

But it's a really big, important issue.

IMHO it is downright tragic that what is by all accounts the ultimate text
editor is stuck in this rut which ended, roughly, in the early 1980s for
everyone else.

I wish I could get a few people to engage with it and fix it, and then
there would, I suspect, be a lot more Emacs users and it would benefit

But no.

I have also tried AquaMacs on OS X, which looks quite nice and works well.
However, most of my computers aren't Macs. I've asked the author if he'd
consider porting it to GNUstep instead, and the answer was no.

Liam Proven b" Profile: https://about.me/liamproven
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