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Old 05-18-2013, 03:54 PM   #1
paulb2
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What is a good command line text editor for Unicode UTF-8?


This is indeed a newbie question, but it relates to Slackware 14_64, which I am about to install. I'm switching from Win7 to Linux.

I did look at the five earlier related threads, but none addressed this specific point.

Much of my work involves foreign (non-English) languages, and I use UTF-8 encoding almost exclusively. I know there are many command line text editors available for Linux. Is any one of them particularly good (or particularly bad) for working with UTF-8 encoded text files with non-Latin alphabets? I don't need a fancy word-processor with a lot of bells and whistles (unless that is my only choice).

(I don't want this to become a popularity contest; just some help, so I can get started working ASAP.)

Many thanks in advance for your suggestions.

paulb2
 
Old 05-18-2013, 04:50 PM   #2
kikinovak
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I've been using Vim since 2001. It has a steep learning curve in the beginning, but it's very (!) powerful. To get started, fire up a terminal and use the built-in tutorial app.

Code:
$ vimtutor
Give it some time. Once you get hooked, you'll never want to look back.
 
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Old 05-18-2013, 05:01 PM   #3
Richard Cranium
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Emacs has the same type of support. :-)

Let the editor wars begin!
 
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Old 05-18-2013, 05:10 PM   #4
hitest
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Nano is a very easy-to-use command line editor.
 
Old 05-18-2013, 05:30 PM   #5
jtsn
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Since when did visual full-screen editors like vim, emacs and nano become command line editors? ;-)

Last edited by jtsn; 05-18-2013 at 06:39 PM.
 
Old 05-18-2013, 06:25 PM   #6
Diantre
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In Slackware you can choose between nano, elvis, vim, emacs, jed and joe.
 
Old 05-18-2013, 06:38 PM   #7
STDOUBT
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paulb2,
A quote from
http://duganchen.ca/writings/slackware/fonts/
Quote:
When using Slackware’s liloconfig (which is run during Slackware’s installation) to set up lilo, you will be asked whether to “USE UTF-8 TEXT CONSOLE?” Say yes.
If you skip that, you can always just change your /etc/lilo.conf, and follow the directions on Dugan's page.
I use "vi" (AKA elvis) in rxvt-unicode from slackbuilds.org (AKA urxvt). It's pretty nice.
 
Old 05-18-2013, 07:20 PM   #8
paulb2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Diantre View Post
In Slackware you can choose between nano, elvis, vim, emacs, jed and joe.
Thanks for this. I used joe when I as playing with Slackware v.4 some 13-14 years ago, and I learned to like it. Probably my best bet is to try it - and possibly others - and see how each one works. But I would prefer not to spend the rest of my life (I'm an old guy.) testing editors. That's the reason I posted my question even before having installed Slackware.

paulb2
 
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Old 05-18-2013, 07:59 PM   #9
hitest
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paulb2 View Post
But I would prefer not to spend the rest of my life (I'm an old guy.) testing editors. That's the reason I posted my question even before having installed Slackware.
It depends on your needs and what you want to do with your editor. Emacs and Vim are powerful, but they have a steep learning curve. Nano is easy to learn and is good for basic editing. Try some out and see what you like.
 
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Old 05-18-2013, 08:01 PM   #10
Diantre
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paulb2 View Post
Thanks for this. I used joe when I as playing with Slackware v.4 some 13-14 years ago, and I learned to like it. Probably my best bet is to try it - and possibly others - and see how each one works.
Sure, you're welcome. The simplest editors to use are nano, jed and joe, while elvis, vim and emacs have a steeper learning curve, they are quite powerful. Whichever you choose, good luck!
 
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Old 05-18-2013, 09:13 PM   #11
Richard Cranium
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jtsn View Post
Since when did visual full-screen editors like vim, emacs and nano become command line editors? ;-)
In that case, it's pretty much sed and ed.

I actually wrote a term paper using the equivalent of ed back in 1979. It was better than using a typewriter, but that's about it.
 
Old 05-18-2013, 09:24 PM   #12
cortman
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Nano gets my vote for being super intuitive and easy to use (but limited in stock form).
Put in a little time to learn some common emacs shortcuts, and it is *amazing* how fast and second-nature it can become. Another advantage of Emacs is that both Bash and Nano use Emacs-style navigation shortcuts, so you can learn it once and use it effectively in multiple environments.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Cranium View Post
In that case, it's pretty much sed and ed.

I actually wrote a term paper using the equivalent of ed back in 1979. It was better than using a typewriter, but that's about it.

Ouch.
 
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Old 05-18-2013, 09:37 PM   #13
storkus
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You guys forgot my favorite EMACS-clone, JOVE (Jonathan's Own Version of EMACS), which dates back to 1983. Unfortunately, I can't find any info on whether it supports Unicode and I'm on the wins**t computer at work so I can't find out.

And I was going to mention (s)ed, but got beaten to it.
 
Old 05-18-2013, 09:41 PM   #14
paulb2
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Many thanks to all who replied to my question, especially to diantre, hitest and stdoubt.

I'll probably try joe again, and perhaps nano. Typing text with joe in a terminal is much like typing text with MS Notepad in Win7. There's no need for a fancy window manager. All I really need is for the editor to work well with Unicode UTF-8 encoded text.

I will undoubtedly be back later, asking for pointers (i.e., where can I look for help) on creating custom keymaps. I've used MKLC (Microsoft Keyboard Layout Creator) in Win7 with success. And I downloaded (from somewhere, don't remember) the source file for an Arabic keyboard, which I imported into MKLC, et voilŕ, a workable keyboard with Arabic characters and RTL direction. But I will need to learn how to write the source file for a custom keyboard in Linux. I've spent way too many hours searching for myself - so far in vain.

Once more, thanks to all for your replies to my question.

BTW: I don't want to be caught in a vim vs. eMacs war. I intend to avoid both of them when / if a plain text editor is enough.

paulb2

Last edited by paulb2; 05-18-2013 at 09:49 PM. Reason: Added comment
 
Old 05-18-2013, 11:38 PM   #15
gezley
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paulb2 View Post
BTW: I don't want to be caught in a vim vs. eMacs war. I intend to avoid both of them when / if a plain text editor is enough.
And if a "plain text editor" is not enough? I don't think that you should request advice if you are dead set on rejecting two of the best and most powerful editors available. You suggest you are too old to learn either Vim or Emacs. I'm not a young man any more either, but I took up Emacs last year and am loving every minute of it (I used Vim for years before that). You can learn most of what you need to know about Emacs in a weekend, and once you do learn it you have an extremely powerful text editor (and more) under your belt. Emacs can do right-to-left editing of Hebrew, for example. You say you want a plain text editor which will allow you to input characters from a non-Latin alphabet. Are you sure the other plain text editors recommended in this thread can do RTL editing?

Specifying which non-Latin alphabets you will be using might help us to narrow the field down a bit more, and my advice to you is not to close your mind to either Vim or Emacs. People replying to you in this thread understand these editors far better than you, and recommend them for a very good reason. It is most impolite to stick your fingers in your ears and refuse point-blank to even consider their recommendations.

On another note, another person in this thread recommended the rxvt-unicode terminal emulator. I second this; the developer has put some effort into unicode and non-Latin alphabet support.

Last edited by gezley; 05-18-2013 at 11:45 PM.
 
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