A text editor is a program used to create and change the contents of
text files. Most operating systems have a text editor: DOS has edit,
Windows has Notepad, MacOS has SimpleText.
Debian provides a large variety of text editors. vi and Emacsare the classic two, which are probably both the most powerful and the most
widely used. Both vi and Emacs are quite complex and require
some practice, but they can make editing text extremely efficient. Emacs
runs both in a terminal and under the X Window system; vi normally
runs in a terminal but the vim variant has a -g option that
allows it to work with X. text editors
Simpler editors include nedit, ae, jed, and xcoral.
nedit and xcoral provide easy-to-use X Window system graphical
interfaces. There are also several vi variants.
Additionally, you can
find and a GNU Emacs
variant called XEmacs.
This book does not cover the use of any particular editor in detail, though
we will briefly introduce ae since it is small, fast, and can be found
even on the Debian rescue disks, so it pays to know a bit about it for usage
in a pinch. When you need to do more serious editing, check out vim or GNU
Emacs. Emacs provides an excellent interactive tutorial of its own;
to read it, load Emacs with the emacs command and type F1
t. Emacs is an excellent choice for new users interested in a general-purpose
or programming editor.