Re: Text editors

I think unix in general has a certain consistency to it, despite the wide
variety out there.  Windows and Mac users see two different toolkits on my
screen and just don't understand at all, but we know where the
consistencies start and end, and some of them we accept despite
inconsistencies (sorry, but xv is still way more functional than ee).

But one of the major factors that keeps me using linux over other desktop
systems (we won't touch servers in this convo) is flexibility.  It's
defining just how your windows look, exactly what's available on your
toolbar (if you have one!), and writing some code directly into your
editor to modify its behavior.

I don't expect the average person to know lisp in order to type a letter. 
But I for one am very sad that gnome and other popular apps have adopted
the shortcut keys of Windows and Macintosh.  As I'm writing this I'm
watching a "Designing Linux for the Masses" headline scroll by on

I think it's sad that what the meta key has historically been used for now
makes use of control.  I for one expect ^A to get me to the beginning
of a line, ^X^S to save, and ^Y to paste--not ^V!  And few things are more
confusing than backspace and delete switching roles everytime I switch an

I don't expect converted Windows users to learn new keybindings.  I really
don't.  A lot of old-schoolers would disagree, but I think it's great that
we can offer something new with the look and feel of what they are used
to, so that they can expand and explore at their own pace.  But I also
don't expect anyone, including myself, to relearn a new unix.  I for one
am not willing to give up the power and flexibility that brought me to
unix and linux just to convert more Windows users.  That's totally

Why can't keybindings be as themeable as titlebars or check boxes? 
Caldera can default to Windows shortcuts, Debian can stick to emacs or vi,
perhaps RedHat will ask at installation time.  But I for one want it to be
configurable, just like everything else.

I do realize that the full capabilities of an editor consist of a lot more
than keybindings.  I'd hate to give up emacs's yank rotation buffer and
pipe replacement, but keybindings would be a start, and a lot simpler than
a full editor component.

Then again, just launch emacs for me externally and I'll be happy :)

>>  Remember that creating software, is not only for us 
>> "geek/nerd/hacker/developer" but also for the general 
>> public ( and your mom ! ).

I just hope that everybody remembers that geeks, nerds, hackers, and
developers are also part of the general public.  Let's not be cutting or
noses off for our faces.

Nathan Clegg

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