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Usability BUG - Which package appropriate?

In another thread I asked for text editor recommendations to address a narrowly focused problem - making non-printing (one respondent called them "ink-free) characters obvious.

I had specified a GUI editor.

One person suggested geany. I checked Synaptic and found it was already installed. Synaptic gave a "Homepage". I clicked and found that it had a discrete setting that addressed my problem. As it was part of Debian's default installation, it is the OBVIOUS solution to my IMMEDIATE problem. The homepage linked to suggestive pages regarding other problems. Already installed, solves immediate problem, and suggests that it solves foreseeable problems.

Case closed?
Not necessarily.

Later someone else suggested emacs.
My mental image of "emacs" was of something for a 'dumb terminal'.
I went to Synaptic searching for 'emacs'.
Got a hit for a metapaqckage - *NO* associated homepage.
Did a web search for 'emacs' which linked to [https://www.gnu.org/software/emacs/] which gave no relevant answers.

The first line stated "Emacs 26.1 is out, download it here!"
Bu [https://packages.debian.org/stretch/emacs] refers to
"Package: emacs (46.1)".

I see TWO problems:
  1. Synaptic frequently does not list a relevant homepage.
  2. [https://packages.debian.org] lacks credibility.

I underlying problems:
  1. Code creation is nirvana.
  2. Documentation is an after thought.

Why avoid "free" software? It *COSTS* to much.

I suspect I'm older than grandparents of many current programmers ;/

P.S. I've written both "Instruction manuals" and "Test procedures".
     Educational pitfalls in both <*ROFL!!!*>