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349Re: Simple Editor(s)?

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  • gene_sullivan
    May 10, 2006
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      --- In sicp-vsg@yahoogroups.com, Philip Ansteth <pansteth@...> wrote:
      >
      > I concur that emacs is an excellent choice for someone
      > just starting out. The other good choice
      > for an editor is vi. I used vi for many years and
      > am now about five years into emacs.
      >
      > You should not skimp on editing skills.
      > It's a mistake to look for shortcuts.

      I'll agree and disagree.
      I believe one of the best attitudes to take
      forward while attempting to learn *any*
      programming language is to `work smarter, not
      harder'. If one weren't interested in
      manifesting this then why wouldn't one
      just do *everything* manually rather than trying
      to program a computer to do either some or most
      of it?! I'm so lazy -- I mean `interested
      in short cuts' -- that I hate writing a
      program which `does something' when I
      can write a program which writes a program
      which does something. Pursuant to this
      end I write lispoid symbolic expressions.
      By `lispoid' I mean they are-qua-ARE
      treated-as-if symbolic expressions in one
      or more forms of Lisp or scheme (Scheme
      as a dialect of Lisp). Given that one
      may compose and evaluate lispoid expressions
      via Emacs's elisp features AND emulate Vi
      it strikes me as daft not to take the
      shortcut also-known-as Emacs. While
      working back and forth between ELisp and
      scheme I have benefited in ways I undoubtedly
      wouldn't have had I not had this `comparative
      linguistics' lesson among Lisp family members.
      To wit, is the following Elisp, or Scheme
      or both?

      (let
      ((x 3)
      (y 4)
      )
      (sqrt (+ (* x x) (* y y)))
      )

      So, I ask in closing, might it not be-qua-be
      better to take the `short cut' through Emacs
      to Scheme -- and possibly learn some polyglot
      skills along the way -- than to (mis)use
      some not-so-extensible `manual-manipulation-only'
      text editor which doesn't promote the kinds
      of thought processes re-applicable to Scheme
      while using the editor?

      > I think Emacs is easier to learn than vi, and it
      > ties you into a Lisp-aware culture in a way that
      > vi does not.

      I agree. But there is something more important
      in my estimation. Using Emacs promotes an
      `aware' culture within ... an intrapersonal
      culture which `thinks with' lisp_&_scheme
      concepts.

      <snipped for brevity>

      > Either way, try to train yourself NOT to use the mouse
      > nor even the arrow keys unless you have to.

      Agreed whole heartedly.

      > A skilled touch typist with a powerful editor like emacs
      > or vi is just a lot faster than somebody who depends
      > on the mouse for most everything.

      Yes indeed.
      And if one becomes mindful of the emacs functions
      which are triggered by his or her keystrokes then
      the writing of time_&_distracting_effort-saving
      macros or/and elisp programs which `push the
      bottons' ... thus improving on the efficiency
      already gained by avoiding the mouse in favor
      of the keyboard.

      <snipped for brevity>

      Cheers!
      Gene
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