best text editor for programming Python on a Mac

Pete Forman petef4+usenet at
Sun Jun 19 06:41:44 EDT 2016

Joel Goldstick <joel.goldstick at> writes:

> On Sat, Jun 18, 2016 at 8:12 PM, Lawrence D’Oliveiro
> <lawrencedo99 at> wrote:
>> On Sunday, June 19, 2016 at 11:07:23 AM UTC+12, Michael Torrie wrote:
>>> On 06/17/2016 05:52 PM, Chris via Python-list wrote:
>>>> Any suggestions for a good open source text editor for the Mac out
>>>> there?  For now, I am going to stick with vim.
>>> Good choice.
>> The trouble with vim/vi/whatever, is that it doesn’t work like any
>> other editor on Earth.
>> Pull up any old GUI-based editor you like, for example Windows
>> (shudder) Notepad. If there are N characters in your file, then the
>> insertion point can be placed at N + 1 positions: in-between two
>> adjacent characters, or before the first character, or after the last
>> character. And this makes sense: anything you type is inserted at the
>> insertion point. All rational text editors (and word processors) work
>> this way.
>> But not vi/vim. It only lets you place your cursor *on* a character,
>> not *in-between* characters. That’s why you need two separate
>> insertion commands, insert-before and insert-after. And one of those
>> has the interesting side effect where, if you exit insertion mode
>> without inserting anything, it doesn’t put you back in the same
>> position as before. Why?
>> As to why you need insertion commands at all, that’s another thing...
>> --
> I personally love vim.  But its clearly an acquired taste.  When you
> get good at it its pretty amazing -- and no mouse.  The other thing
> about vim is that it is on every linux system, so you don't have to
> load your editor if you are ssh-ing to some machine

Both emacs and vim are powerful tools in the hands of experienced users
but I would recommend neither to someone starting out who is just
looking for a code-aware editor.

Emacs and vim are much more than editors. I'm composing this message
using Emacs/Gnus on a Mac. TRAMP is invaluable to me for my daily work.

Pete Forman

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