pymacs! :-)

Carel Fellinger cfelling at
Fri Sep 7 23:13:48 CEST 2001

Alex Martelli <aleax at> wrote:
> "Carel Fellinger" <cfelling at> wrote in message
> news:9n5pch$806$1 at
>> Me too, I even tried to wrap my mind to dig the modes of vim, but in vain.

> I think that's because the mind is not the part that learns the modes: it's
> rather the fingers.  If I stop to think out "what mode am I in" when
...more belitteling causery snipped

Please Alex, what you are telling here is so obvious that a man
wonders why you bother to tell it at all. And I wonder why I bother
to react.

Some 20 odd years ago I was a reasonable fast vi user, my fingers did
the edit-thinking.  But even in those years I frequently stumbled upon
two problematic areas with vi (problematic to *me* that is). The first
being that in insert mode I often needed to edit the line above too. I
had to leave insert mode, go up a line and enter insert mode again. Oh
how I wished for functioning cursor keys.  Last year, when my daugthers
had to learn a real editor, I set them off with vim, and discovered
that cursor keys do function in insert mode nowadays [completed with
a number of ugly control key bindings to do word/line/block movements
and edits, just like emacs:]

But this only enhanced my second problem, being that I regularly
forget to enter insert mode when I start inserting after a short pause
and give all kinds of commands instead. Or forget that I left insert
mode and start adding some spurious command letter(s) to my writings.

If I only had that problem now, I could believe that it was a matter
of getting used to.  But I know from prior usage of vi that even years
of usage whould not free me from it. And surely after years of vi-ing
one might expect the fingers to take over, like the legs took over the
walking in a few weeks when I was but a baby.

Years of editing in mode-less editors on other platforms only deepened
that problem of keeping track of insert mode on/off.  And I do regret
that, because apart from the above, I like vim a lot. I really dig the
command structure, and I love to be able to use python to edit my

Besides, studies in the UI design field showed that modes are
troublesome, some people can cope with them, but must just get lost.
groetjes, carel

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