[texhax] What program can I use to edit TeX files?

William F Hammond hmwlfsr at yahoo.com
Thu Mar 21 19:27:54 CET 2013

[Re-directed to texhax at tug.org]

Thomas Schneider <schneidt at mail.nih.gov> writes:

> Shubho:
>> Emacs is a good editor too.
> Let the religious wars begin!! 8^)

Given the O.P.'s description of his issue, I'm inclined to
think that neither emacs nor vim is a good response.  For
U.S. area code 718 he probably wants a simple UTF-8 capable
text editor.

But ... Tally Ho!

> I had thought of mentioning Emacs ...  Computer programmers tend to
> like Emacs.  I tried it briefly one day and found it forced me to use
> multiple key presses simultaneously for what would be one key in vim. 

Shall we assume that we are talking about GNU Emacs, which
AFAIK is the original?

It was written in the era of terminals having small
keyboards without arrow keys, numpad keys, and function keys
but just a ctrl key and a meta key aside from classical U.S.
"qwerty" typewriter keys (and maybe also an escape key).

The user can re-configure keys with great flexibility, and,
in particular, the user can make assignments to all the
"new" keys.  It's quite likely that no two keyboards in
one's office are the same, and even a given keyboard can act
differently when emacs is run in a command line than when it
is run directly under a GUI.

> I think the tradeoff is that in Emacs you can program very fancy
> things (like recognizing a language's structure).  Since I don't need
> (or am ignorant of?) that, the complicated keystrokes get in my way
> for fast typing.  Also, vim is Vi Improved and it does allow some
> rather powerful things now (compared to the old vi), though I don't
> know if it comes up to the level Emacs allows.

Emacs contains (and is built on) a powerful lisp engine that
can be used stand-alone or can be accessed from the editor.
It is capable of doing more or less arbitary processing

                              -- Bill

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