Interactive Python programming in ... vi [was: Tab wars revisited]

Mark 'Kamikaze' Hughes kamikaze at
Fri Jul 16 00:01:31 CEST 2004

Steve Lamb <grey at>
wrote on Thu, 15 Jul 2004 18:31:57 GMT:
> On 2004-07-15, Mark 'Kamikaze' Hughes <kamikaze at> wrote:
>> Huh.  I always thought it was an incredibly slow and awkward Lisp
>> interpreter, with a fairly weak shell (it is not an OS), and a really
>> lousy editor with too many modifier keys on top.  Since I've got Python,
>> Linux and FreeBSD, and Vim with Python scripting compiled in, it has
>> nothing to offer me.
>     That's the part that always gets me.  This is the Python newsgroup.  Many
> of us are here because we program in Python.  Quite a few of those actually
> like and prefer Python to other languages.  So why, then, do Emacs people put
> forth an editor that, to customize, one must learn Lisp.  I don't know Lisp.

  Well, there are other non-Pythonic editors that can work with Python.
JEdit's very nice, and it's Java, with Beanshell scripting.  Kate's
reasonable, and it's a C++ app with no scripting that I know of.  There
are even Eclipse (Java IDE) plug-ins for Python (see also

  Emacs fans like it because if you're willing to use Lisp, it's
programmable, and it did that back in the day when that was very rare.
Now scripting is not unusual, and you can choose a better editor with a
scripting language you like more.

> However from the many Lisp/Python discussions here (charitable description, I
> know) I do know I don't want to learn Lisp in general and certainly not just
> to tweak my editor around.

  I don't understand why, but many Lispers zealously over-evangelize
their language to non-Lispers and yet don't seem to write that much real
software in it.

  This isn't just a random opinion, it's backed by rigorous scientific
research (i.e., a few minutes fooling around with

  I put my code where my mouth is.  I write a ton of Java code, but
Python's a close second--mostly for smaller tools and one-off scripts,
but also for large apps like my Umbra CRPG.

 <a href=""> Mark Hughes </a>
"The void breathed hard on my heart, turning its illusions to ice, shattering
 them.  Was reborn, then, free to scrawl own design on this morally blank
 world.  Was Rorschach." --Alan Moore, _Watchmen #6_, "The Abyss Gazes Also"

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