"Then it is dark; a night where kings in golden suits ride elephants over the mountains." - John Cheever

Saturday, January 29, 2005

This season I will mostly be wearing...

Who's for an Asteroids t-shirt then? I don't really understand the geek ones though.

8 comments:

john said...

ok - vi and emacs are unix text editors, rm -rf /* is a unix command that, when executed by a user with "root" privileges, will delete everything on the computer (rm = remove; the -r switch = recursive; the -f switch = force; the / root directory of the filesystem; * wildcard for everything).

Colin said...

Thanks - but why do they say 'editor holy wars' on the sleeve?

john said...

there's a sort of beatles/stones thing between users of said text editors, so i guess that's what the "editor holy wars" caption is about. don't think i noticed it first time i looked at the link, over-egging the pudding somewhat i think.

phaemon said...

Yes, emacs vs vi is one of the original "holy wars" (so called because of the religious zeal shown by their proponents). This is similar to PC vs Mac, Sony vs Nintendo, ZX Spectrum vs Commodore 64, Amiga vs Everyone else.

Emacs and vi are both text editors and represent opposite ends of the spectrum. vi is minimalist to the extreme. It edits text and that's it. It doesn't have any help system and is rather cryptic. It's not unknown for a novice user to reset their computer because they could not figure out how to exit the program. To exit, you need to type ":q!". I'm not kidding. (note: most vi users now actually use vim instead, which does give you some hints)

Emacs is the opposite. It has everything. It was once joked that emacs would not be complete until it incorporated a web browser. It now does. I'm not kidding about that either.

No mention of the emacs vs vi holy war would be complete without a reference to the "The True Path" or "ed standard" posting on alt.religion.emacs. Read it here.

phaemon said...

I forgot to mention: the Timex Sinclair mentioned in that posting was actually a derivative of the ZX Spectrum which was sold in the USA.

john said...

just for the record, I use vi.

Colin said...

Dur, now I get it. I remember using emacs when I did an 'introcuction to c++' course. I couldn't really get the hang of it.

john said...

that's cos emacs is rubbish. use vi.