Important features for editors

Eric S. Johansson esj at
Sat Jul 6 08:52:20 CEST 2013

On Fri, 05 Jul 2013 23:13:24 -0400, Rustom Mody <rustompmody at>  

> Yes...
> The fact that rms has crippling RSI should indicate that emacs'  
> ergonomics is not right.

As someone crippled by Emacs ( actual cause not known), I should also  
point out that RMS, instead of doing the responsible thing and using  
speech recognition software, burns the hands of other human beings by  
using them as biological speech recognition units.

Now for me, an important feature for editor is the ability to command it,  
not by keystrokes but by function/method invocation. This is be the first  
step to reducing the disasters caused by misrecognition events injecting  
unintentional commands into an editor. For example, bring up a file in VI  
in close your eyes and type some string like "save file" or "end of line".  
What kind of damage do you get?

With an editor RPC, you can bypass all this damage. You turn off keystroke  
input at the start of a recognition event and all keyboard queue data is  
injected as characters. All commands are injected by the API.

There's a few other things, I need in a very tiny editor to help a part of  
my accessibility problem. One of the ways I deal with speech recognition  
user interfaces by creating tiny domain specific languages to solve a  
problem. You can say them, they are resilient in the face of  
misrecognition, edit them and you can replay them. Bunch of wins.

The tiny editor needs to use the right Windows edit control to work with  
NaturallySpeaking, save data so that I never have to think about it. It's  
always on disk, always safe. If I invoke a file by name, I get exactly one  
instance. And last, I want the ability to filter the contents of the  
editor through a bit of Python code so I can do transformations on opening  
the file or writing the file.

Further down the road, instead of the classic syntax highlighting, I need  
dynamic naming of features so that I can say things like "replace third  
argument", "modify index" for format local times using pattern.

I will admit the last one is a bit of a cheat because that's a subset of  
the domain specific notation I think that earlier. Not a solved problem :-)

So important feature editor change depending on your perspective, or  
should I say, state of impending disability. We all become disabled with  
age, just some of us age much faster than the rest of the population
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