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Re: Recommended editor for novice programmers?

On 02/09/17 17:46, davidson@freevolt.org wrote:
> I somehow doubt that you yourself find Emacs or Vim "difficult to
> use", or believe their design is "arcane". (Of course, I might well be
> mistaken. I'm only guessing.)

I use GNU Emacs. I am being honest when I say that it is difficult to
use and arcane (obviously according to my perception). I use it because
of the configurability and because I use some extensions that are
specific for Emacs (mainly SLIME and HOL mode).

The reason I find Emacs difficult is that for any non-trivial action you
want to perform, you have to read the documentation and *memorize* the
key bindings or command names. Nearly all modern editors make obvious
how to use them through the GUI icons. Emacs does this to a very limited

Also Emacs requires significant customization. Certainly it *works* “out
of the box” but it is not comfortable to use in that condition. For
example: If I had not read the Emacs wiki I would still be switching
buffers and finding files the old way (C-x b and then type the name of
the buffer), which is extremely tedious. If I had not read the manual, I
would hardly have figured the command “delete-trailing-whitespace”,
which I use often.

> When, many years later, I developed a greater interest in computers, I
> was happy to discover that
>   1. I hadn't been taught only how to ride a tricycle, but had been
>   riding a full-fledged bicycle all along, and
>   2. I would never need to learn to use another text-editor again, if
>   I didn't want to do so.

Assuming that people in the OP's library is representative of the
general population, then most people in that library will never “develop
a greater interest in computers” like you and me. Run-of-the-mill users
do not care if software is very powerful, configurable, reliable, or
other technical merits. They want something that is so simple to use
that they will never need to even glance at the manual. Microsoft and
Apple deliver that and that is why they have had so much commercial success.

Do not eat animals; respect them as you respect people.

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