Best Python Editor (under Linux)

Erik Max Francis max at
Sat Jan 4 02:26:05 CET 2003

Martin Christensen wrote:

> As do you I am convinced that a total neophyte will be more
> comfortable in Emacs than vi, simply because very, very few programs
> that deal with text editing of any sort nowadays have different
> modes. If not for the menues, however, a total neophyte would be as
> lost in Emacs as in vi, and in all fairness, where Emacs has menues,
> vi has GVim.

Agreed.  Firing up GNU emacs, at least, does bring up a scratch pad that
gives you some hints, such as how to get help and how to run the
tutorial (of course, so does vim).

> However, of what consequence are the first few weeks of stumbling in
> the long term? I see no problem in an editor having a rather steep
> learning curve if it is justified by long-term benefits, and both
> Emacs and vi have made many such sacrifices.

It's also possible there are different metrics for "learning curve"
being used here.  If you were to insist that learning curve apply to
_all_ of emacs' features, then yes, obviously it has a massive learning
curve simply because there are so many.  I use emacs exclusively, and I
only use what I need to use; there are tons of major and minor modes
that I've never bothered learning anything about, because I don't need
them and can't imagine I ever will.

> I learnt to use basic vi by using the tutorial that comes with Vim.

I can't even remember how I came to be barely competent in vi (like I
said, just enough to use it on systems where emacs isn't available and I
need to edit a configuration file).  I think back in the day when I
started a friend gave me a cheat sheet.

> I'm already an expert computer user and thus am not easily
> intimidated, and so I learnt the basics in half an hour. But I would
> never in a million years get my mother to use it. On the other hand,
> she can use Emacs much the same as she'd use Notepad, i.e. typing and
> deleting text as she normally would, using the mouse as she normally
> would, but she'll never get beyond that.

I noticed that around version 19 or 20 they even changed it so if you
select text and hit delete it cut the text, instead of having to hit

 Erik Max Francis / max at /
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