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Re: Recommended editor for novice programmers?




>>>>> "NB" == Nick Boyce <nick@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> writes:

NB> I don't want to provoke any religious war here, and sorry if I
NB> offend anybody, but: emacs is ridiculously heavy-weight,

Indeed is larger than any other editor, but AFAIK is the only
editor exposing the language it is implemented in.

NB> and I can
NB> never remember whether exit is Ctrl_C Ctrl_X or Ctrl_X Ctrl_C (yes
NB> practice would help)

The problem is in the documentation, mostly the users that do not
read the tutorial or disable the standard message in the *scratch*
buffer.  But also in the documentation that does not explain how the
user interface works.

The tutorial tells you which key combination use to do certain things,
in line 143 tells you:

"Notice the parallel between C-f and C-b on the one hand, and M-f and
M-b on the other hand.  Very often Meta characters are used for
operations related to the units defined by language (words, sentences,
paragraphs), while Control characters operate on basic units that are
independent of what you are editing (characters, lines, etc)."

But it does not tell you that commands are assigned to keyboard
following the "the most useful command gets the quickest activation
way" sorting.

So editing command come with Meta or Control, less common commands
require a C-x issued first, user defined less common command have the
"C-c" prefix almost reserved to them, scarcely used command must be
invoked by name after issuing M-x.

A conservative approach meant to have compatibility with most
environment. But it does not prevent you to use a more "space cadet
keyboard" like approach and use Super and Meta.

Indeed Emacs is large and complex. Indeed Emacs is a bit initiatory,
the church of Emacs is not all this joke - or maybe is even more a
joke for the same reason. You have to understand by yourself that
every time you press a key you invoke a parameter-less function, even
when you type a character. On the other hand, the help system - once
you learn to use it - is there to tell you which funcion is bound to a
certain key combination, show its documentation and, if you want,
takes you to the source code of the function.

But Emacs offer this to a beginner: extensibility, customization (you
could need no coding for many things) and the option to turn a boring
task into the intellectually interesting "writing the snippet of code
that does the boring task".

-- 
 /\           ___                                    Ubuntu: ancient
/___/\_|_|\_|__|___Gian Uberto Lauri_____               African word
  //--\| | \|  |   Integralista GNUslamico            meaning "I can
\/                 coltivatore diretto di software       not install
     già sistemista a tempo (altrui) perso...                Debian"

Warning: gnome-config-daemon considered more dangerous than GOTO