Re: Great SWT Program

 Owen Jacobson <>
Mon, 15 Oct 2007 17:54:26 -0700
On Oct 15, 4:14 pm, wrote:

On Oct 15, 4:35 pm, Roger Lindsj=F6 <> wrote:

*) Actually VIM 7.1.12

In other words, not actually what I was saying. :P

I suspect if you took a poll of all the people who call themselves vi
users, you'd discover that the vast majority of them use some recent
release of VIM, making VIM, de facto, "vi". You may have used an old
version of VIM; you may have used a distro which configured it badly
(there are no shortage of thse); you may have used a different
implementation of the vi editor entirely. That's irrelevant. In this
day and age, if you talk about "vi", most people will interpolate
"vim" until told otherwise.

I know that if you took a similar poll of emacs users, you'd discover
that most of them use either GNU Emacs or XEmacs (making those the de
facto definition of "emacs" today), both of which are quite capable of
all the feats you expect from a GUI editor: high-quality unicode
support, CUA compliance on platforms that have such, mouse-driven
features, scrollbars, inline images, et multiple cetera. They are
also highly consistent with each other, making skills learned on GNU
Emacs rather portable to XEmacs and vice-versa; I'd be willing to bet
that if you can get GOSMACS to run on anything modern the same would
be true of it.

The fact that you either used a version missing those features or were
unable to locate those features in no way invalidates their existence;
most modern desktop[0] linux distros provide defaults such that those
features are immediately available when you start emacs from a desktop
session[1], and emacs packages for non-linux platforms are configured
as the packager chooses.

There is, for example, a packaging of GNU Emacs for OS X[2] which,
while retaining the emacs shortcuts, *also* supports the Apple HIG
shortcuts -- possible, since the HIG shortcuts all use the Cmd key and
the emacs shortcuts all use the Ctrl key. Similarly, it uses the
Quartz rendering framework as much as possible, giving it rather good
support for varying fonts and international characters.

These definitions do not change overnight; I only foresee VIM ceasing
to be the default interpretation of "vi", or GNU Emacs and XEmacs
ceasing to share the default interpretation of "emacs" if another
variant of either editor comes along that is a marked improvent, for
the current userbase, over the current high-quality offerings.


[0] Non-desktop-targetted distros are usually also aimed at people who
have signifigant UNIX experience already, which usually includes
competence with either or both of emacs or vi.
[1] While still starting in character mode if no desktop is available,
no less. Some of the GUI features carry over to character mode,
including unicode support as good as the output in use. If the output
in use is, for example, a remote SSH login with no X forwarding via a
graphical SSH program such as gnome-terminal or putty, the unicode
support is extremely good. If the output in use is a raw BIOS
console, the unicode support is... less good, but functional.
[2] <> Note that for an alpha
release its list of bugs relating to rendering contains a single item,
which suggests that the underlying support for different rendering
mechanisms was rather high quality before the guys got
anywhere near it, or that the guys are geniuses.

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