Re: Recommended editor for novice programmers?
- Date: Wed, 6 Sep 2017 05:31:34 +0100
- From: Nick Boyce <nick@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
- Subject: Re: Recommended editor for novice programmers?
On Sat, 02 Sep 2017 18:21:07 +0000
Tom Browder <tom.browder@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:
> I would especially appreciate other ideas for programming editors for
> novice programmers.
If you really want to have a *simple* non-GUI (i.e. terminal) screen-mode editor available that novice programmers who are refugee users from Windows might find comfortable, you could consider 'joe' ("Joe's Own Editor" in classic Un*x-world recursive acronym naming style), which provides basically a Wordstar control-key driven modeless editing experience. Yes, I did say "Wordstar" ... you may need to get off my lawn.
I don't like to confess to my august and more sophisticated colleagues here how much code I've written using joe - albeit in the simpler languages (a variety of Bash scripts, Perl, C, HTML and similar). There is some syntax highlighting, but no code-completion or compiler integration or the other trinkets that come with proper IDEs. It is however, small, fast and reliable - it hasn't had a new feature in *years* because for it's intended use-cases it's *feature-complete* !
It's one of the first things I install on any Linux or *BSD system.
I don't want to provoke any religious war here, and sorry if I offend anybody, but: emacs is ridiculously heavy-weight, and I can never remember whether exit is Ctrl_C Ctrl_X or Ctrl_X Ctrl_C (yes practice would help) - and vi's power makes light work of many tasks but it's as user-friendly as a cornered rat ... novices usually remember their first time trying to find out how to exit with a genuine shudder. A frequent vi moment for those familiar with modeless editors is to enter 'insert mode' (when you figure out how), type some text, and then try to use the arrow keys to move to a different line without remembering to first exit insert mode - depending on vi version, terminal emulation, Un*x flavour, phase of the Moon etc., the effect of this is that a whole bunch of weird character sequences get entered instead of cursor control, which you then spend the next 10 minutes removing again. Ugh.
(Yes, I do use more sophisticated GUI IDEs for anything serious, but that's not what OP asked for. Also, I do realise vim is much better than vi.)
Never FDISK after midnight.