Emacs, nano, pico, vi, vim?

Discussion in 'macOS' started by johannnn, Nov 27, 2010.

  1. johannnn macrumors 65816


    Nov 20, 2009
    I have a few text documents as my GTD system. I was thinking of trying to use the terminal for this, but I quickly realized that there is more than one editor. So far I've found emacs, nano, pico, vi and vim and they all work on my Mac. Normally the GUI is really important and I pick one that is esthetically pleasant, but these programs all look the same.

    So I want to quickly edit these text documents and add/remove small pieces of text. When I google this I just get a lot of flame wars. Does it matter which one of these to use? Does one require less key strokes, is simpler to use and work better in OS X?

  2. miles01110 macrumors Core


    Jul 24, 2006
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    You've also got more and less as "editors."

    For the uninitiated, nano is probably the easiest to use.

    vi/vim vs. emacs is one of the great debates in geekdom. Each has its merits. If you just want to cut text, just use nano. Or download a free GUI-based TE like Textwrangler. Or use TextEdit.
  3. jnpy!$4g3cwk macrumors 65816


    Feb 11, 2010
    vi still works after all these years. Simple, but not too simple. vi is not the greatest editor, but, like a good friend, vi is always there. ;)
  4. mac2x macrumors 65816

    Sep 19, 2009
    Haha, yeah. :D I use vim for most quick things.

    If I have to code in the command line, I really like joe. http://joe-editor.sourceforge.net/

    You have to compile it yourself*, but it's *very* easy to use and it has syntax color for coding.

    *Put the tarball in a convenient place:

    tar -xzvf joe-3.7.tar.gz
    cd joe-3.7
    sudo make install

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