# Writing text

## How do you prefer to write text

• ### Office 365

• Total voters
15
• Poll closed .

#### Trihexagonal

##### Son of Beastie

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Note: HTML does not use and does not need or require a closing slash on any tag and never has in any HTML specification.
Well XHTML is more orderly than HTML and Order Out of Chaos is the Agent Way.

This looks like a perfect example of a document that would profit from Markdown.
"Don't forget to get some coffee and sugar when grocery shopping" was the body of the Document.
E.g. when I open my FreeBSD advocacy doc in a text editor, it looks like this: https://raw.githubusercontent.com/Zirias/webdocs/master/freebsd/advocacy.md
Very nice.

Leafpad doesn't do that for you. What you type is what you get. It looks the same in View Source or Leafpad, but my markup is readable as that plain text for me.

I have all the Markup I've ever written somewhere and reference what I've already written to cut and paste into my new writing. I made a new Frameset site demo 2-3 years ago that still checks valid. Only index.html uses frameset. All other pages use Transitional and are linked to fill the frames.

I spiraled in offset frames to a tiny one inch frame in the center that said "Hi" or something once as an exercise in futility to see if I could do it.

I need to trim my CSS file down now that I'm not using the button code on my sites.

#### tingo

##### Son of Beastie

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This is a trick question, right? Obviously I prefer to write text as ... text! Now, if you ask how I like to format any texts I write, the answer would be Markdown.

#### Trihexagonal

##### Son of Beastie

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But I want my site #1 Google ranking back so I'll sacrifice what it takes to satiate Great Google so as to not cast the Don't Be Evil evil eye my way.
Top of the World, Ma!

Cooltrainer thought it was Neo on his way to rescue Trinity from hitting the ground when I went by them.

#### grahamperrin

##### Beastie's Twin

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Messages: 5,027

Too late to vote.

I'm happier with Markdown than (here) BB code.

Office 365 can make life easy. I don't have a personal subscription, but I do make frequent use of things such as Excel online.

#### hruodr

##### Daemon

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It depends for what I have to write text:

(1) ascii.
(2) utf8.
(3) very primitive, old html.
(4) Plain TeX, for generating ps or pdf.

#### astyle

##### Daemon

Reaction score: 994
Messages: 1,988

I absolutely hate Office 365, it makes file opening/saving clunky. But LibreOffice (or Office 2019) is great for an outline. I like Kate (or Notepad++) for ASCII/UTF-8 text, because with those editors, even plain text can look nice and organized. I tried LaTeX when I was in college - it was an interesting way to do typesetting of math/chemical/statistical formulas, and made my homework look neat, but just making things line up and look like something that can be followed along - that was a pain.

And I don't care what they ask me to use at work - If they ask me to use a tool, they're supposed to provide me with a tool that actually works.

#### Trihexagonal

##### Son of Beastie

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I like Kate (or Notepad++) for ASCII/UTF-8 text, because with those editors, even plain text can look nice and organized.
UTF-8 is what I write, a text editor is all I've ever used and went straight from NotePad to editors]/leafpad without missing a beat.

#### hruodr

##### Daemon

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UTF-8 is what I write, a text editor is all I've ever used and went straight from NotePad to editors]/leafpad without missing a beat.
It is OK as long as it is only text, without formatting, without math, etc.

BTW, I managed to combine the the wiki of:

https://www.fossil-scm.org/home/doc/trunk/www/index.wiki

with

I think it works also with the forum. It is ideal for a small wiki for technical purposes.

#### tux2bsd

##### Well-Known Member

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nvi. If I need to make something formal that'll save to a PDF so I can reliably print nicely then I'll use Libreoffice.

kate is good for some stuff too.

#### Trihexagonal

##### Son of Beastie

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It is OK as long as it is only text, without formatting, without math, etc
Yes, you're right.

The other day I Copy & Pasted what I'd typed in Leafpad into an online email form. It displayed what had been typed to show it had been sent. It didn't format at all and everything ran together with no paragraphs beginning to end.

#### astyle

##### Daemon

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The other day I Copy & Pasted what I'd typed in Leafpad into an online email form. It displayed what had been typed to show it had been sent. It didn't format at all and everything ran together with no paragraphs beginning to end.
Tons of systems try to do that. The worst offenders are the systems tasked with extracting data from uploaded resumes or systems tasked with posting job announcements. Blocks of text that pollute listings, provide no real actionable information, and frankly fail at even having the intended effect. . Back in 80's and early 90's, Russian legal documents looked like that, except that it all was on paper back then.

#### kpedersen

##### Son of Beastie

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So many guys I work with use this:
https://www.overleaf.com/

Personally, just like any "cloud" thing, Office365 or Google Docs, I will avoid. However I do like that it is just standard LaTeX so it doesn't in theory tie you down to their nonsense.

Though it still baffles me how people can use this kind of stuff without a "normal" version control system. Heck I would even take CVS over some weird proprietary web based thing (I cheat because I actually like CVS ).

#### hruodr

##### Daemon

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Personally, just like any "cloud" thing, Office365 or Google Docs, I will avoid.
And
Though it still baffles me how people can use this kind of stuff without a "normal" version control system.
My combination of fossil-scm with MathJax was not intended for writing articles, for substituting TeX,
but only for collaborative work, for web publishing.

#### Profighost

##### Active Member

Reaction score: 84
Messages: 155

Sadly Word became the widely used standard, so most are forced to use this $4!t or it's comparison of libreoffice. With the effect that several hundreds of years of experience and science within typesetting - make the text best readable - are washed down the toilet within one decade for presumptive better looking but really worse readable text, because of typestting is done by people who even don't know, that something like this even exists, doing typesetting when they should write text.... (You may search for: "Wordprocessors: Stupid and Ineffiecent" for more and better details about this topic.) Give Vim a closer look! Long answer: For someone really, really, seriously looking for an professional, powerful text editor there are only two choices really: emacs or vi/Vim I've worked with emacs many years. It's really productive,....but.... It not the question of "worse" or "better" (or even religious), it's the question "How are you structured? How do you think (top-down vs. bottom-up)?" Most people avoid vi/Vim because without a couple of hours training you even can't do sh!t with it. I think most ever rooted within a unix-like system knows the typical situations: Your system does not fully come up for whatever reasons, all you need to do is to just add a single comment character before a line in a text file, and all you got is this d@mnmotherdf0gging vi-crep!!1!!!1...'§"%$§=?§?$=!!!!!!!1111.... ...looking for another - working - machine, cursing, looking for a vi-cheat-sheet, swearing, helplessly fiddling, getting tourette-disorder ...it's known. That's why most people don't give vi even a closer look. And that's - maybe - the reason why the default editor on FreeBSD is not vi. However: With emacs I was not really completely satisfied. Personal taste. It's not big, it's huge! Especially if you do the common emacs-noob's mistake and install directly ALL possible add-ons....("it's free..." - bad mistake, at least for a start with emacs! If you start with emacs, just stay at the basic-editor, which is very powerful for itself indeed, and only if you feel well versed in its using *ONLY* add, what you really need. Otherwise you'll just drown in possibilties and non default-setting, wondering about which editor is the tutorial about So I was looking for an alternative and again found many people praise vi/Vim. After vanquishing my personal aversions against Vim I made the tutorial shipped with it. It will take you at least 2 hours to even do the rudimentary basics badly, and it will cost you app. additional 20...30 hours to use ist nearly usable. You have to force yourself to use it, otherwise you'll never learn it. Yeah, it may be a little painful at the start. But it's worth it! And after 10..20 you've already managed the worst. From then you start to master it. After the first couple of hours you get a feeling, where the journey goes: It's not that the editors a completely otherwise. It's the fundamental principle how text is to be edited, that differs completely. You better have to forget all what you've ever learned about texteditors ever, and completely start naive at absolute zero, trying to do as you never ever edited any textfile before. To put it in a simplified picture: emacs is like a big workshop with a vast range of tools. For every editing task you have at least 3 tools (keyboard, GUI, scripting) plus additional tools for similar jobs. So what your going to do is, look for and leran the suiting tools for you current editing task. If you need/want another tool, you add more tools from a toolshop or mostly even a whole additional workshop. You can use emacs directly from the start without knowing anything about it, because most editors are using the same concept: editing and writing at the same time with a GUI. But to be efficient - doing much editing work in lesser time - you'll have to learn the keyboard shortcut commands. And you'll keep on learning for every new "tool" in your workshop. vi/Vim is more like a small toolbox. You cannot really do much with the tools alone. And you have to learn them most of them first, before you can anything useful with it. But you quickly can build with them any powertool or machine you need or want. And there is no big effort in this. Because you are sitting in front of an powerfull automation system. Use it that way! Another picture may would make it understand better: Imagine you have never seen any written text nor even characters, and not the stupiest idea how to note you language. If somebody shows you the alphabet, you'd say: "That's a complete stupid load! First you have to learn all signs before one can do anything with it and second there are only 26 of them?! Are you completely mad? Draw pictograms showing its meaning obviosly! You have to do no learning at all." ...and one day you figure out: Your drowning in thousands of signs, every single one either much work to paint or hard to recognize and distinguish. And you receive additional problems like words cannot be painted, grammar etc.... The way looking easy for the start may not be the best chosen in the long term. Understanding two things 1. The most efficient for editing lies in the power of the keayboard - whatever editor one uses. 2. Most of the time you are not writing - entering new text, but edit it. That brings you to the idea of vi: First editing is done - and only done - with the keyboard only. (don't looking at GVim at this moment, because it's not a good idea to start with - you'll never grep the concept and Vim stays Ugh! for you.) Second vi strictly distinguish between editing and writing. And because editing is the most work you do, editing mode is the default mode that comes up at its start. (The Esc-Key will be the most used key, because it brings you always back into mormal (editing) mode.) The strict distinction between the two modes are very strange and Urrgh! because completely unfamilar for most users. But is have a very great - not to be underestimated advantage: Single keys are now editing commands. So instead of cruising with your mouse around to menus or learning and pressing many more or less complex keycombinations, you simply have a dozen of very simple commands. Those commands cannot do much for themselves alone, but you can combine them to quickly typed chains and so generate not only way more powerful commands but rather the exact edition command you need for this individual editing task at the very moment. After I got the hang on Vim (yeah, it's not just coming to you - it's a hard way for a start, especially if you fall back trying to use your old editor habits) I knew: This is the editor I ever wanted. It's small. It's smart. It's flexible. It's tailorable. It's customizable. It's very logical. It's intuitive. It's powerful. Very powerful! And above all: It's fast. It's darned fast! With no other editor you can become as nearly so fast as with vi/Vim. Not a chance. If you don't know Vim and convinced you are fast, try to get a chance to watch an experienced Vim-User at a couple of editing tasks. You did not yet had even the slightest idea what fast really is! #### kpedersen ##### Son of Beastie Reaction score: 2,437 Messages: 3,237 And that's - maybe - the reason why the default editor on FreeBSD is not vi. The default editor for FreeBSD is indeed vi. Luckily this hasn't changed (I think it is even dictated by the Single UNIX Specification). #### gpw928 ##### Aspiring Daemon Reaction score: 374 Messages: 760 As a matter of history, I believe that Bill Joy used code from the original AT&T ed(1) with his innovative screen editor vi(1), so that when The Regents settled with Unix System Laboratories (USL), vi(1) became the property of USL. BSD Unix was therefore without the most famous of all Berkeley enhancements! Keith Bostic stepped in to fill the gap, and created nvi for use with BSD Unix. Vim is an independent implementation by Bram Moolenaar, released under GPL, and widely used on Linux. So, technically, FreeBSD uses nvi(1), but it's called vi(1). I work on both Linux and BSD systems, so I'm prepared for both nvi and vim at all times to behave as (I believe) it should: Code: [ritz.193]$ echo $EXINIT set shiftwidth=4 nowrapscan ai magic [ritz.194]$ cat .vimrc
set compatible ai sw=4
set t_ti=
set t_te=
set nowrapscan

#### memreflect

##### Well-Known Member

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The default editor for FreeBSD is indeed vi. Luckily this hasn't changed (I think it is even dictated by the Single UNIX Specification).
vi and ex are among the "user portability utilities", which are optional. ed is mandatory, and the functionality of set -o vi may be disabled entirely:
It need not be possible to set vi mode on for certain block-mode terminals.

#### astyle

##### Daemon

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This is a bit old-school for me, but the design of those text editors was also a matter of technical feasibility at the time. The very idea of placing a cursor in any given point on the terminal screen and making it possible to type text from that point on - that idea probably took hold in late 1980s. In early 1990s, I remember seeing some programs that can be best described as "beefed-up Nano" - still terminal-based, but offering features like opening up Midnight Commander-like file manager to save text files in a directory you browse to. Early word processors on Apple II that I saw in mid-90s - those were easier to look at, but the logic of file saving was strikingly similar. Not that I can recall names off the top of my head. If I were motivated enough, I'd do some research and put up links to good descriptions...

#### Profighost

##### Active Member

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The default editor for FreeBSD is indeed vi. Luckily this hasn't changed (I think it is even dictated by the Single UNIX Specification).
Er...not really.
If you install FreeBSD freshly and pure I think vi and nvi are already installed, yes.
But the editor coming up as default automatically linked for editing is ee.
That's a good choice for very small editing tasks like emergencies at the very beginning because it's a very small and very simple editor which can be used by anybody without learning effort (see the "vi-trap" I described), since its usage is shown permantly on the screen.
But I wouldn't recommend it to for any advanced editing tasks e.g. writing source code etc.

To make vi or nvi your standard you at least have to edit your .cshrc
Installing Vim (console version) is my very first task everytime I install a new FreeBSD.

It has nothing to do with Linux. Vim is independent.
(Because Bram was missing vi on his Amiga, Vim originally was written by him for AmigaOS, what could be seen as closer to BSD as to Linux, but this may end up completely off-topic in senseless hairsplitting ;-)=
It's nearly a 100% clone of original vi as so far that app. 99,98% you can do like in vi you can do exactly so in Vim (the exception are very few, nearly unnoticable and quickly learned).
And the interface is extended by showing the cursor position, yeah right.
But Vim adds many additional features which make it more powerful as the original vi and makes it more suitable for many current editing tasks, such as coloured syntaxhighlighting to name just a single example.

Of course Vim does not come with by a basic, pure, naked standard installation of FreeBSD.
Because
- it's big (at least bigger as original vi, but not as way far as big like emacs, which can be blown up to be gigantic),
- an editor is a very personal choice - particulary vi/Vim.
- and there may are also be license issues to be respected, what can be included as default common standard installation, but I only presume that but don't really know.

This is a bit old-school for me, but the design of those text editors was also a matter of technical feasibility at the time.

Well, vi resp. Vim came a long way, and yes, their origin roots are way back in times where primitive text-only terminals are, but no editors exist approximately anything near like something we know for over 30 years, such as showing the whole text on the screen, browsable... - that's what vi means, short for: "visual" - see the complete text and work directly within it.

This may give the impression the usage comes from and belongs to computer's stonage, BUT
if you really get involved in vi, (Vim or another vi-clone) you'll quickly see and understand:
That has nothing to do with "old-fashioned" or such. The concept of usage is timeless and genial.
It's not easy to learn - and you have to learn it a bit to do anything with it-, but once you got hang on it it's just great.

The basic principle of usage is very smart, really sophisticated and extremely efficient.
No need to change that, especially not just because of only time is passing by.
For at least half the people doing much editing but never tried to invest a couple of hours seriously learning and training on vi or Vim I promise:
You'll really gonna love it!
Especially programmers.

If you are rarely doing fewer, smaller textfile-editing or write longer prose texts like a book you are propably better served with another editor like e.g. Geany, ne (nice editor), Proton, emacs or others (Anyhow learn and use them keyboard shortcuts!) - you'll may not catch the benefits of vi quickly, if even.
There will be no advantage for your investing hours in learning to use an editor you only use for a couple of hours.
But within programming - editing any kind of source code - the ball is in vi's court!

But you have to slave a couple of dull hours on tedious training effort before you can even judge.

However, after all which editor to use is absolutely ones personal flavor, of course.
You'll have to work with what comforts you and suits your needs best.
To be efficient in editing you'll have to learn the usage of an editor anyway. Doesn't matter which one you chose.
But most people depending on a good, efficient editor missing the opportunity using the most efficient and fastest editor there is, just because of prejudice don't give it an actual serious closer look.

I've really tried several (emacs I already mentioned to be my standard editor for many years), among others Geany, ne and Proton - which are all very good editors of course (We're not talking MS-Notepad :-D ) searching for the texteditor that really is worth to be really learned deeply, so I can say:"That's the one for me!"

I just have that feeling that all - or at least most - editors are just trying to copy the basic idea of emacs, but want to make it better - smaller, easier to learn, more suitable for personal needs...whatever.
So there are just three principle types of textediors at all:
1) the line or stream and very fundamental ones, like sed - very useful e.g. within bash-scripting
(btw sed is part of vi/Vim. With : you actually switch within vi to sed. [ Next time, you'll give vi another chance, don't use the often mentioned :qw but the original vi-command ZZ to close it ]
2) vi and a handful of vi-clones
3) emacs and zillions of editors doing something likewise emacs

For way over twenty years I also was avoiding vi/Vim, because of all the arguments brought up immediatly everytime the ugly v-words are just mentioned anywhere, and gave up every time again after a couple of minutes when I tried to give vi another chance.
Once I've bitten through my initial training (Vim's tutorial may be recommended to be done at least) I knew:
vi resp. Vim, that's it!

All I just wanna say:
Give it a chance!
Spent a couple of hours actually trying to learn and understand the concept of vi.
Don't compare it permantely with the editors you already knew and bother "why is not like...?!" - just try to start all over again without any prejudice!
You'll not just have to learn another editor, you'll have to learn a complete other/new/unfamilar concept of text editing.
Once you passed the hard way and get the hang of it most will agree:
It's worth it!
You'll love it!
You'll safe zillions of hours time using the fastest editor there is.

#### hruodr

##### Daemon

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For someone really, really, seriously looking for an professional, powerful text editor there are only two choices really:
emacs or vi/Vim
You forgot sam and acme.

#### hardworkingnewbie

##### Well-Known Member

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It depends... in my job it's simple, because my company dictates it: Word 365, Outlook. Aside that when just writing some small stuff bbEdit.

In private when writing more elaborate stuff it's LibreOffice Writer and most of the time for plain text Notepad++/Notepadqq.

I know about LaTeX, and aeons ago wrote somebody's physics master thesis using it for money. But it's nothing for me where I can just "write away", because I've always got to make up my mind upon certain stuff first. So nothing I normally use, aside some special cases where I would drag it out like texts with lots of mathematical formulas in it.

On command line it's normally Joe, then Nano. Only VIM when I've got to. Also recently discovered Kakoune, where somebody thought it's a good idea to port Clippy to *NIX. Well... it looks helpful, but also kind of strange to me.

Also reminded me about Vigor from Userfriendly...

#### kpedersen

##### Son of Beastie

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If you install FreeBSD freshly and pure I think vi and nvi are already installed, yes.
But the editor coming up as default automatically linked for editing is ee.
https://github.com/freebsd/freebsd-src/blob/main/share/skel/dot.profile
https://github.com/freebsd/freebsd-src/blob/main/share/skel/dot.cshrc

Both profile scripts have the default EDITOR variable set to (n)vi.

Neither FreeBSD nor Linux are registered under the Single Unix Specification.
Very true. Though FreeBSD does still tend to adhere compared to others. For example I was fairly baffled when ed was removed from Debian for the sole reason cited that "users wouldn't find it shocking if it was removed".

Last edited:

#### Profighost

##### Active Member

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That may be the case. I don't know that.
I always install from an iso-file on an usb-stick I've downloaded from freebsd.org.
Also there within .cshrc EDITOR is set to vi.
yes.

But when I type edit in the shell or do something else which automatically brings up the file with a texteditor, by default ee is loaded.
Doesn't matter if FreeBSD 10...12...13

I have to set an alias for edit on vim (after installing it, of course) and change EDITOR to vim.
Then Vim is used as my standard editor, but not in the pure, naked, basic, default installation, no matter what's written in .csrhc.
There clearly stands:
stenenv EDITOR vi - yes.
But except I type vi ee is loaded by default.
Don't aks me why. I'm just an user. And I just can tell what I observe.

#### kpedersen

##### Son of Beastie

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Looking at the  edit /  ee man page. It seems that  edit is just an alias for  ee. It can't be changed or adhere to the standard EDITOR variable so isn't really necessarily the default editor of the system. It is kind of similar to how  view opens up  vi (in read-only). It isn't necessarily the default "viewer".