[lug] (Virtual) BLUG is ON! Thursday April 9th, 2020 @ 6:30PM (MDT!)

Rob Nagler nagler at bivio.biz
Thu Apr 16 07:59:32 MDT 2020

A vim user writes:
>  by the time I have the answer, it'll be much slower than just pushing
the arrow and wait its snail speed to the end of the line.

While I agree that it would be nice for fully controllable shortcuts, I
have to speak about this, because this goes back to modal vs modeless
editing, which was part of the editor wars of the 80s.

It is much easier to design a modeless shortcut system, which is why I can
type control-E to go to the end of the line in gmail, emacs, browsers,
bash, etc. on my Mac and Linux. In fact, I'm often surprised when a tool
doesn't understand control-E in a text box, e.g. Word or Photoshop.

I know vi is very popular. I used it for many years, alternating with
emacs, until I realized that emacs was just better (for me :). It was a
lucky choice, because emacs keys are the default for most tools I use today
so I have to spend no time customizing. I'm also fortunate to not have to
use Windows much, where my muscle memory is useless.

Here's pro-modeless Larry Tesler's take on it, which I found quite
informed, and doesn't mention emacs or vi:


For those of you haven't read them, here's one of the many papers from the
80s on modal (moded) vs modeless editing, which studies emacs and vi:


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