Text Editors?

Hello everybody!

I wanted to make sure that at least one of my blog posts focuses on the ongoing discussion in the UNIX/LINUX world about the best text editor. Given the popularity of third-part editors, some of the prominent text editors in my opinion are VIM, EMACS and GEDIT. Personally, I’ve only worked with VIM and GEDIT and I’ve really enjoyed VIM.

In all honestly, I don’t know how much difference using one text editor over another has made since all of them primarily do the same thing and provide the same feature but some have a much easier and user-friendly UI than others. During my internship at Qualcomm, I primarily worked with VIM and it was a good experience – VIM primarily allows every action to be completed through keyboard shortcuts, rendering the mouse basically useless. While this may be frustrating at first, it definitely becomes second nature after a couple of weeks of thorough usage and editing actually takes place a lot faster as compared to constantly switching between keyboard shortcuts and mouse clicks. It also has multiple modes such as edit mode and insert mode which allows for a greater level of flexibilty.

The other text editor I’ve had some experience with is GEDIT which I used for this course over the semester. GEDIT has a very simple user interface which makes it a good text editor for beginners but does not seem to have some of the more advanced features that other text editors may provide. I used GEDIT for the entirety of the semester because I didn’t need to make any special modifications to text and GEDIT seemed like the simple and convenient choice. I’ve personally never had any experience with EMACS.

Until next time!

Some thoughts on the terminal…

I feel that our homework 2 and the exercises we have had so far did a fairly good job of getting acquainted with the terminal. The Command school exercise actually helped a lot because by writing down the use of each of the functions, I found myself not doing man on the commands I need to use as often. Also I have started to do most of my project work for this class and Applied Software Engineering through the terminal. For both of these classes, I had assignments due this week and I used the terminal for all the file manipulations such as moving, renaming, removing, etc. I feel quite comfortable in working  on the terminal to do file manipulations and using it instead of a typical GUI file system.

One skill that I wish I had or would like to develop is to efficiently use VIM. I have used VIM in the past for simple file modifications but in a couple of my past internships, I had observed my employer using VIM and it was beautiful. The speed and effectiveness at which he completes different tasks and does various operations is unmatched on any modern IDE. He was telling me that VIM was invented by engineers at a time where if you had access through the network to a server or computer, every keystroke cost money so it was designed to be as simplified, efficient, and effective as possible with minimized key strokes. While I feel that VIM is a skill for the past generation, I feel it is a tool that would be quite effective even today if harnessed well. I hope to learn to effectively use VIM as I get more comfortable with the Unix environment. I have an extension installed on my Chrome browser called Vimium which allows you to use VIM keyboard shortcuts to navigate through webpage and so on.