[OS X TeX] I'm done with TeXShop as my main editor

Google Kreme gkreme at gmail.com
Thu Dec 7 20:11:40 EST 2006

On 7-Dec-2006, at 16:23, Matthieu Masquelet wrote:
> But to someone who is outside of this war, don't you think they both
> look a little bit crazy? I haven't touched or even approached emacs in
> many years so maybe my memories are getting really bad, but to me,
> emacs is closer to vi than it is to TeXShop or even TextMate no?

Well, closer?  Perhaps.  They are both text-based editors (TeXShop or  
TeXMate or BBEdit are graphical editors), that is to say, they are  
designed to be used on text consoles without a GUI.  There is that  

The difference as I see it is that you don't need to know much of  
anything to USE vi.  Emacs has a huge lexicon of opaque and dyslexic  
commands that one needs to know, notwithstanding the whole issue of  
"what is a meta key" and "which key on this keyboard is the meta key."

Emacs has a HUGE and very steep learning Curve.  vi's is steep, but  
not so large.  Also, a lot of what you learn in vi is directly  
transferable to other cli tools.

For example, in Robert's post

   ma}'a,.s/^/%% /

only the first six characters are vi-isms, the rest is a simple regex  
pattern substitution, same as you would use with grep, or in BBEdit.

Now, to be fair, Robert has some serious vi-fu, as I would simply  
manually space down the start of each line with i%%<esc>j.j.j.j.j.j.j.

But then I am, despite having used vi for a large portion of the last  
20 years as my primary editor, still pretty much a beginner.  When I  
want to transpose two columns, for example, I have to look up how to  
do it every time.

> And with the development of vim, the
> boundary between the two has blurred a little bit IMO, vim being less
> barebones than vi.

vim is simply a better vi (there's also nvi) with some features the  
speak to the fact that it is 2006 and not 1976.  For example, vim  
assumes you can use colors in your terminal, something unheard of  
when I was using adm3s 20 years ago.  This is a good thing (I like  
syntax coloring).

But, aside from both being editors and both being text-based, they  
have nothing in common and are as different from each other as, say,  
BBEdit and Microsoft Office.

Rent a flat above a shop, cut your hair and get a job, smoke some  
fags and play some pool, pretend you never went to school and still  
you'll never get it right cuz when you're lay'n in bed at night  
watching the roaches climb the wall if you called your dad he could  
stop it all.

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