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Recommended Editors for CN Services

  Miguel Marquina CN/DCI

This article presents in a comprehensive fashion the set of editors that you may use on your UNIX, PC or Mac system. We have classified them according to the required level of knowledge.

Novice/Casual Editing in UNIX

We recommend either of the following two simple editors which achieve most of the goals if no advanced features are needed:

GUI-based editor, available on any public CN Service and ASIS-supported desktop. It requires a screen which can display an X window. The file may be optionally supplied when invoking the program for the first time:

  nedit filename

This is the editor used by pine. This editor, available as for the previous one, may run on any device including FALCO terminals and does not require any special set up. The editor is self-explanatory through commands whose abbreviations are visible on the bottom two lines of the screen. As before, the file may be optionally supplied:

  pico filename

Novice/Casual Editing in PCs and Macintosh

The traditional editors in these systems (Write in PCs, available at the ``Accessories'' NICE group, and TeachText and SimpleText on Macs ) provide similar functionality to those described above.

Advanced Editing in UNIX

If you really do heavy typing on UNIX systems, you should seriously consider emacs which provides you functionality going beyond just document creation (context-sensitive editing is just an example). Rather than describing in detail what can you do with emacs and how to use it, we refer you to the excellent tutorials written and presented by J.H.Peters /DESY last year, and repeated this year by P.Defert/CERN. They are available in WWW at:

emacs may be used on any device, either FALCO terminals or regular desktops. If emacs is missing on your system, you may always resort to vi (the editor offered as part of all basic UNIX operating systems, and well documented in any professional UNIX text book), but you may get configuration problems (typically in screen addressing) when using it across different systems. nvi ( the GNU implementation of vi ) is a better valid substitute (but not necessarily available everywhere).

In any case, we recommend emacs for the CN Services.

Advanced Editing in PCs and Macintosh

We should speak here of ``Text Processors'' rather than Editors, as such desktops are the natural home for complex document typing. The recommended application on both environments is ``Microsoft Word'' (version 6 is the current one - version 7 on NICE 95 - although you may have to resort to version 5.1a on under-configured Macintosh desktops).

Migration Path from XEDIT/VM

To ease the migration of CERNVM users and not to have them confronted by an alien editing application from the first moment, we provide and support the UNIX porting of XEDIT called ``the'' through the vmxedit interface. We however strongly recommend you to move as soon as your time permits to a more ``natural'' editor on the environment you have chosen to replace your activities at CERNVM, following the suggestions highlighted above.

Synoptic Cross-Comparison of Editor Capabilities


next up previous
Next: New Release of ADAM Up: Desktop Computing Previous: Choice of News Readers

Michel Goossens
CN Division
Tel. 3363
Thu May 30 20:08:07 METDST 1996