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Re: [tlug] epcEditor

On Sat, Mar 16, 2002 at 10:35:31AM +1100, Jim Breen wrote:
> [Charles Muller (RE: [tlug] epcEditor) writes:]
> >> 
> ST > Emacs already has a validating SGML editor, so don't expect me to do
> >> 
> >> There is really a wide gap in terms of perception here, in the issue I am
> >> trying to address, and I realize now that TLUG was probably not a good place
> >> to make this announcement. But it was precisely my inability figure out how
> >> to get Emacs set up to do the things I wanted (most fundamental of which was
> >> to properly handle CJK in UTF-8) that pushed me to search for a more
> >> user-friendly option.
> Understood. Emacs is surely a wondrous thing (either that, or there has
> been mass hallucination among otherwise intelligent people), but it's
> like Reverse-Polish Notation - elegant and precise, but incomprehensible
> if you don't make the time and commitment to immersing yourself in it.
> >> I've heard again and again from my more technically-capable colleagues about
> >> the wonders of Emacs. 

You can get up to speed in emacs in 1/2 hour, granted that it is
installed and running. That means you are editing files at the same
speed as using word or notepad. Becoming proficient does not take long
either. I define proficient mean that you know enough shortcuts to speed
up development time beyond what other editors would allow. If you know
vi well you can code as fast as emacs without a lot of headaches. (like
loosing ALT-Meta functionality - though this sucks in bash too). 

A good place to start is

Installation is another matter. I am finding multi-lingual input under
linux is poorly documented in English, and another cutting edge feature
that requires some learning curve. It is free too ;) 

> I have too, repeatedly. I have even made a a few tentative forays in its
> direction, only to driven back by a myriad of non-intuitive keystrokes.
> I decided life was too short, and my time would be better spent on
> something easier, like trying to learn to speak Japanese.

Use the menus that Xemacs provides until you learn the keystrokes. 

> >> But the fact is, as I see it from the lower end of
> >> technical skill, unless some people begin to provide some easily usable
> >> applications like the one I introduced yesterday, Linux will continue to
> >> remain a platform limited in its usage to a small coterie of  IT
> >> professionals and skilled hackers, forever being off-limits to the more
> >> average end-user like myself, who would have to stay with locked in the
> >> Redmond prison.

True. Except learning linux has to do with patience more than anything
else. It is free after all. 

> Ah, there are a lot of us old vi people around; we're just older and
> wiser. Besides who'd ever get up missionary zeal over vi. I liken it to
> the Sunni and Shi'ite schism in Unixdom. Watch out for them
> fundamentalists.

This is an interesting phenomenon. 
vi vs emacs
windows vs mac
freebsd vs linux

Of course, linux is my answer to the classic windows vs mac debate. Now
I see this freebsd vs linux banter.

We need more choices in our lives. 

> No, Linux will "succeed" in the wider marketplace when there is a bullet
> and foolproof installation and a solid set of usable software. "Usable"


> meaning free of command-line and control-key arcana.

I believe GUIs don't make things easier. This is a myth that people use
to sell operating systems. A GUI is good for some things, but you loose
power, and speed with no command line. Windows is a labryntine mess of
GUIS. Look at the manuals for Exchange and ISA, they are huge. These
systems are not easy to use. 

Windows, through ease of installation, and tightly integrated systems,
removes a huge barrier for entry and provides a gentle learning curve. 
But once you are in swamp things get hard, and you realize the drawbacks
of these systems. 

I would love to see linux or freebsd based, tightly integrated (yet
open), easy to install, and clearly documented systems. OF course, the
good news is that Linux has come a long way, and as a result, my
expectations are suddenly higher. Why can't I get Japanese to work
right? I whine. But the system is impressive, and its THERE. 


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