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There is noting more frustrating to an end user than listening to a bunch
of programmers ponder what an easy to use editor would look like. Let me
give you some context, and then some suggestions.

True end users have no idea what edit.com is. Today's generation of end
users didn't grow up with DOS; their idea of a basic editor is Windows
Notepad. That's the de facto standard you have to measure against. So in
X, you want an editor that will present familiar notepad like options,
even if it does other things. And remember that most end users today have
NO command line experience to speak of, including DOS.

In fact, I have found that the popularity of the Web has made the newest
generatlion of end users more likely to have encountered a UNIX Shell
prompt -- in the course of setting up a home page, or some such -- than a
DOS prompt. And, in the ISP world of UNIX shell accounts, the standard
editor appears to be... pico.

So here's what I'd suggest. Make pico the default command line editor.
Yes, I know it is a really wimpy editor, but it is adequate for editing
things like .bashrc files, it is completely self explanatory how to use
it, and anyone who has used pine already knows how to use it.

Make sure that vi is also available, and the user is aware that it is
available. As people get comfortable with the system and start looking for
more power, they can take on vi.

In X, forget about pico and vi. I have found an editor that will map onto
the notepad interface sufficiently to be obvious for beginners, but that
also has enough power user features to keep programmers satisfied, and
that has the required freeware status, and that is very easy to install:
The "Readme" file says it can be procured from
ftp.ifh.de:/pub/unix/edit/tkedit-x.n.m.tar.Z, although that's not where I
got it. If anyone wants to take a look at it, and has trouble locating it,
let me know, and I'll put it up on my FTP site.

Mark Stone | markst@nanospace.com | http://shell.nanospace.com/~markst

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