An Editor that Skips to the End of a Def

A.T.Hofkamp hat at se-162.se.wtb.tue.nl
Tue Sep 25 09:30:56 CEST 2007


On 2007-09-25, Lawrence D'Oliveiro <ldo at geek-central.gen.new_zealand> wrote:
> In message <slrnfff9op.1is.horpner at FIAD06.norwich.edu>, Neil Cerutti wrote:

> That's like saying, about a program that, when given "2 + 2", outputs "5",
> that _of course_ it knows the correct answer is "4", it just chooses
> to "modify" the answer before outputting it.
>
> Why does it "choose" to modify your position when you exit insert mode? Does
> the phrase "broken as designed" mean anything to you?

Try to insert 1 character in the middle of a line. You'll end up at the same
position. Now press 'j' (one line down), then '.' (do it again).
I believe that's why.

Great when you have nicely formatted columns of code underneath each other.


(try doing that with your GUI editor with 2 strokes per line of code).



Of course, the same works for a find/edit cycle ('n', check whether edit is
appropiate, and if so: '.')
This combining of commands is what makes the editor powerful.

The cost of that power is a command/insert mode and a steep learning curve.


You may not like the keyboard interface, but that doesn't mean the editor is
not well-designed for its task. In the same way, having the ability to use
multiple input devices doesn't automatically make the editor better.

For example, ever wondered why you on earth you need CTL-C and CTL-V to
copy/paste? Why not simply select with the mouse, then right-click to paste?

All editors have their good and their bad sides. Assuming that anything you
don't like is badly designed is a bit too simple in my opinion.

> And the downside is that the largest single proportion of those commands end
> up being variations on "enter insert mode". Because most of the keystrokes
> you enter during an editing session are in fact text to be input into the
> file, not commands to manipulate that text. So in a modal editor, having to

Depends on what you are doing. When entering new code, yes. When maintaining
code, no (lots of small changes).

In one way or another, you'll have to tell the editor what you want. The cost
of that is either a command/insert mode (vi/vim), a CTL/SHIFT/META-key
combination (emacs), or mouse/menu/submenu/subsubmenu (GUI editors).

I don't know what is best. Probably a matter of taste.


Albert




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