September issue: ROUNDUP Text Editors -- some corrections

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September issue: ROUNDUP Text Editors -- some corrections

Postby filker0 » Tue Aug 30, 2005 2:37 am

I looked around in the forums for the 'Vim vs. Emacs" topic, or even a related one, but was unable to find it, so (though it's probably out there someplace), I figured that I'd correct a few glaring historical errors in the article:

The original vi editor was based on the line editor ex, not ed. To this day, many Unix (and Linux) admins have an EXINIT variable set in the .login, .profile, or .bash_profile given to users by default. ed was much less sophisticated than ex, and I found it much easier to use myself.

In the coverage of GNU Emacs, Eliza is an adaptation of the Doctor program, which was a simulation of a rather distracted psychiatrist, not a text based adventure game. Not that there isn't a text based adventure game in the GNU Emacs distribution, it's just that Eliza is not it. Further, there's a vi emulation mode in the distribution, and lots of other things. As an added historical note, Emacs was originally a set of screen based editing macros for the Teco (Text Editor and Corrector) editor on, I think, a DecSystem 10 or 20. You'll have to ask RMS about that one.

Left out of the roundup, and maybe deservedly so based on features, was David G. Conroy's "Micro Emacs", or me. Many light weight text-mode "screen based" editors written between the mid 1980s and well into the late 1990s owe a debt to this bit of dgc's wizardry. It is lighter weight than VIM, and the source code is understandable and extensible.

I will not get into whether vim or emacs is better; I like emacs, other people like vim, and there's room for all editors around the scheduler. (Except maybe SOS, but nobody that I know of misses SOS.)
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