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Re: Editor Priorities

On Thu, May 09, 2002 at 10:59:29AM +0900, Tomohiro KUBOTA wrote:
>  * Ability to edit popular multibyte encodings +20
>  * Ability to edit combining characters +10
>  * Ability to edit bidi +20
>  * Ability to edit Indic complex scripts +10
>  * Ability to change encoding (8bit/multibyte/unicode/...)
>    according to LANG variable (strictly speaking, LC_CTYPE locale) +30
>  * Ability to edit UTF-8 encoding +5

> Note that multibyte support is *mandatory* (i.e., editors without
> it is completely useless) for more than 1/6 of the world's population
> (i.e., CJK), though many *preference* or *convenience* terms (i.e.,
> they improves usability, though usable without them) seem to appear
> in the above list.  IMHO, *mandatory* terms should have more scores
> than *convenience* terms.

For once, I believe the need for multibyte support has been overstated.
The tasks for which it is *most* important to provide a sane default
editor -- such as editing per-user or system config files, most of which
are in ASCII and commented in English by default -- don't require a
Unicode-enabled or bidi-capable editor.  And, those tasks where users
are most likely to need/want international input are those areas where
the user is most likely to be using a custom editor setting ($EDITOR,
$VISUAL, or calling the editor by name).

However, one point I *do* think is relevant here is that "can get
through an editing session without referring to a manual" means that the
user must first /understand/ the contextual help; so points should be
given for good i18n/l10n.

Steve Langasek
postmodern programmer

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