VI IS HARDER THAN ED!!!

Bob Drzyzgula bob at drzyzgula.org
Thu Apr 5 10:43:56 EDT 2001


On Wed, Apr 04, 2001 at 11:36:46PM -0400, Alan Grimes wrote:
> 
>  VI IS HARDER TO USE THAN ED!!!!

Actually, I always found ed rather intuitive, although
nowhere near as powerful as, say, Wylbur. :-)

> The E doesn't stand for Editor it stands for Easy!

You know, I have to agree with you, I really liked E.
My favorite version of it, though, was the one they did
for Presentation Manager in OS/2. It did one of the coolest
things I've ever seen an editor do. When you searched for
a text string, rather than simply moving the cursor to
the found text, it would scrawl a blue oval around it,
as if a human editor had marked it with a pen. I never
had to squint to figure out where it found the text.
I keep hoping that they'll port that to Linux.

There was actually another editor -- this one a Unix
editor -- called "e". It was written by the Rand
corporation around the same time as MH, although it
achieved nothing like MH's success. E was function-key
based, and you could have a line devoted to giving you
hints about which keys were bound to which functions.
One of the coolest things about this e (AKA "The Rand
Editor", or by version number, the last version being
e19) was that you could select out rectangular blocks
of text, in much the same way as you might be able
to select a block out of the middle of a picture in
a graphic editor like the Gimp or Photo-paint. In
fact, you could have it draw ascii boarders around
such blocks, e.g.

   +-------+
   |       |
   | stuff |
   |       |
   +-------+

Doing a lot of this is one thing that is horrendously
difficult in vi, but utterly trivial in e. 

Recently, through about an hour of late-night,
boredom-induced web searching, I found that there
is in fact someone still maintaining e. You can
find the source code and some binaries at 
http://home.cern.ch/perrioll/Rand_Editor

Thanks, Fabian!

--Bob

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