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Re: OT: mutt/nano spell checking

On Wed, Oct 07, 2009 at 10:44:56AM EDT, Jon Dowland wrote:
> On Tue, Oct 06, 2009 at 04:27:56PM -0400, Chris Jones wrote:
> > 'p' for 'paste' does strike me as rather more intuitive
> > than Ctrl-V.
> That all depends on your background. 

Well, then that's no longer intuition. It's knowledge. 

> I use vi every day (I am a UNIX systems administrator); most of the
> time my vi is actually vim; but I wouldn't for a second recommend it
> to anyone who was not already familiar with the original vi (or any
> other modal editor: I can't name any others).

Why would you recommend it to anyone who is already familiar with it at
least in its original version? And who would you recommend it to? Who's
the rare animal who has never heard of Vim and would be familiar with
the original vi.

> Just about anyone who isn't an old-hand UNIX user

I certainly am not - just a computer hobbyist who developed an allergy
to something that came with the laptop I bought, something called
Windows '98 and likewise its OSS clones.

> will have some familiarity with a modeless editor and will have used
> an environment where CTRL+V is the key binding for 'paste', as it's
> been the default for over 10 years in GNOME, KDE, Mac OS, and Windows,
> to name but four.

Give or take a few smidgens I'd say about 99% of the users of the above
environments just take their hands off the keyboard, reach for their
mouse, right-click, and select paste on the pop-up menu. I suggest you
take a stroll out of your UNIX systems administrator's ivory tower once
in a while and meet the real world.

> Nano is a perfectly fine, minimal-featured modeless editor.

If you say so.. may I remind you the subject of this thread: the OP
needs a feature that his 'perfectly fine' editor does not provide.

Or, are you advocating strict adherence to the UNIX philosophy where the use
of different tools - and therefore different $EDITOR's - is recommended
depending on what you plan on doing?

After all, that would only be taking editor "modality" to the limit. :-)

> It was written as a F/OSS clone of 'pico', which is not DFSG free. 

That is beside the point and in any case, common knowledge.

> It is considerably more intuitive and user friendly 

Let's see...

^G Get Help
^Y Previous Page 
^V Next Page 
^T To Spell

Damned intuitive..! 

Mnemonic to boot.

Now tell me something, since you believe in adopting the (M$) market
standards, why does Ctrl-V (assuming that's what the intuitive ^V stands
for) page down rather than paste?

And why doesn't the rather invasive thingy at the bottom of the screen
mention anything that says "paste".

Being the absolute Joe User coming to grips with this "nano".. I'm a bit
frustrated that the online idiot sheet does not even tell me the key
that pastes.

Wouldn't that be helpful for the 'GNOME, KDE, Mac OS, and Windows, to
name but a few' users taking a walk on the wild terminal side...???

True, the nano on-screen help also has 

^U UnCut Text

Nothing in my 'background' remotely suggests what UnCutting might be.

My feeling about nano is that if it is considerably easier to "master"
than Vim, it's not because its interface is designed in a way that's
more 'intuitive' or 'user friendly' but rather because it is so limited
that anyone can memorize its peculiar quirks in about five minutes and
muscle-memorize them in less than a week.

May be well-suited to help-desk activity where editing generally boils
down to changing a couple of IP addresses in a few configuration files,
but it definitely does no provide the more advanced features of a real
editor, as demonstrated by the OP's request for assistance.

So, please don't spread Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt. Considerable
talent, intelligence, and vast amounts of work are what make quality
editors such as Vim play in a different league as compared with two week
ends hacks like nano.

> to the vast majority of people who are new to debian or Linux 

Like the OP said, and I quote:

Vim's key bindings are completely insane and non-intuitive.  I've never
once made sense of how to use the darned thing in a _decade_ of using

The OP is _not_ new to Linux (or debian, I assume, though I don't know
what debian's got to do with it)

Please take note of (editor's highlighting) the word _decade_ .. 

> (and thus are not already affiliated with any particular church or
> cult of $EDITOR). 

I am not a Vim advocate, just an intermediate user who's more and more
thankful to Bram Moolenaar and countless contributors for having come up
with one of the finest pieces of OSS available, one that literally grows
on you when you can spare the time to explore its possibilities.

Since the OP came up with a grievance that boils down to nano's missing
out on one particular feature, I suggested among other options that he
might want to take a look at Vim. In the 4-5 years I have used Vim, I
have never run into circumstances where I was stuck (and frustrated)
with my editor of choice not being able to do what I needed.

Not sure how this makes me a "cult" member.. or why you would taunt me
as such, I'm sure.

After all, I did go to the trouble of providing the OP with a workaround
in the event he wishes to stick with nano.

What I am advocating, though, is whether it be Vim, Emacs, or other, any
serious minded user should do themselves the long-lasting favor of
spending the required time to learn an editor that has pretty much all
the features that they will ever need, is scriptable in the event they
really need to expand its functionality, ships with accurate in-depth
documentation, and has the backing of a strong user and developer

> See <http://www.nano-editor.org/dist/v2.1/faq.html#1.4> for more
> information.

Not much to see, really. :-(


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