A few beginning questions

Robin Munn rmunn at pobox.com
Tue Jul 15 19:21:19 CEST 2003

richardc <richardc at hmgcc.gov.uk> wrote:
> Im guessing from the lack of responce that there arnt many python editors
> which run on OSX.

I didn't see your original post, so I missed that question. One editor
I'd suggest you try out is Vim (http://www.vim.org/). Its name stands
for "Vi IMproved"; it's basically the good old Unix editor vi with lots
of extra features useful for programming, like syntax highlighting and
folding. (For Python, use "set foldmethod=indent" -- it works like a

Cons: It's vi. That means a pretty steep learning curve until you've
gotten used to modal editing, where you go into "insert mode" to type
text and go back into "command mode" (by hitting ESC) to move the
cursor, copy and paste text, do searches, move text around, etc. Many
people try vi and give up in disgust after five minutes.

Pros: It's vi. That means a whole lot of power at your fingertips once
you've gotten used to this editing style. I find that personally, I'm
about twice as productive with vi as with another editor. YMMV, of
course, but that's been my experience. And because vi has been a
standard Unix editor for so long, *any* Unix system you use *will* have
your favorite editor on it. Plus, Vim is available for all those
non-Unix OS'es as well, so you'll never be forced to re-train your
fingers on Yet Another Editor when you switch operating systems.

If you don't like the vi style of modal editing, there's always the
other grand old standard Unix editor, emacs. I'm sure there are several
versions of Emacs that will run on OSX; but since I don't use Emacs
myself, I can't tell you where to find them. One warning about Emacs,
though this is mostly my personal preferences showing: its nickname is
"Escape-Meta-Alt-Control-Shift". If you're used to, for example, hitting
Command-Shift-S for "Save As..." then you might prefer Emacs' key style
over vi's. Myself, I find that my touch-typing-trained fingers prefer
hitting several keys in sequence (the way vi tends to do things) than
several keys at once (the way Emacs tends to do things). But again, Your
Mileage May Vary.

Hope this helps.

Robin Munn <rmunn at pobox.com> | http://www.rmunn.com/ | PGP key 0x6AFB6838
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