modes, ved, emacs, UI 
Author Message
 modes, ved, emacs, UI

Ok, I have to join in. Just some responses to points raised:


The standard modes-are-evil UI argument really applies best to
time-based modes -- i.e systems which change behaviour as events
happen (eg vi). You _can_ do this to yourself in emacs, or in ved for
that matter. However the normal operation is to have one mode per
buffer which reamins fixed. This is no more confusing than the fact
that xterm and xloadimage do different things if you hit SPACE. What
emacs style modes give you is a collection of applications for
different vaguely text oriented tasks which all share a similar user
interface where the tasks overlap.

Modes give consistancy at the semantic level -- there is no point in
having go forward one pop syntax unit on an easy to access key in a
buffer editing lisp. However go to end of defun and go to end of pop
procedure should be on the same keys in their respective buffers.

Highlighting the region:

You need a relatively modern emacs. gnuemacs-19, lemacs and epoch all
highlight the region (my vote goes to lemacs). lemacs and, I think,
gnuemacs-19 also let you have incrimental highlighting of the
structure of what you're typing in different fonts etc. very nice for
catching typos like missing quotes.

My help file mode:

Doesn't limit you to one of each type of helpfile. What it does do is
allow you to flick through helpfiles in one buffer until you find the
one you actually want, _then_ give it a buffer of its own. I found
that the ved-style interface juts resulted in me creating tens of
uninteresting buffer while I followd cross references to get to the
information I needed. Personal preference of course.

My biases:

Emacs' problem is similar to its big advantage -- it has been created
by a large community and so has some inconsitancies (eg auc-LaTeX
mode's keybindings are very different from more standard modes' ones).

Ved I find even worse. All the function keys and the cryptic ENTER
commands (lmr, mcp etc) always confused me, I just used to use the
arrow keys and delete for all kinds of things which I could probably
have done with a keypress.

Ved also never had various small essentials such as
incremental-search, regular expression search, language sensitive
movement, access to remote machines etc which may exist somewhere, but
not where I could see them.

And programming Ved always used to be a real pain (maybe it's better
now since things have been rewritten), elisp isn't as nice as pop11 as
a language, but the abstractions available for editing always seemed
more reasonable to me.

     (O O)

                - RJC

Fri, 23 Feb 1996 07:13:31 GMT  
 [ 1 post ] 

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