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Linux Expo 99': The Editor Wars Saga Continues...

May 10, 1999, 00:07 (12 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Michael Maher)

By Mike Maher.

Once upon a time there was an editor called 'VI'. This editor was very worthwhile, however someone by the name of Richard Stallman decided to start working on something called 'EMACS'. This rival editor gathered a rather large following which for the most part was very against people who used the 'VI' editor stating that it was far superior, better, etc. This created a conflict. There then began a crusade of sorts that started with border skirmishes in newsgroups, emailing lists, random computer labs, night clubs, and various other places. All of the messages had similar tones.

A 'VI' user would say, "Your editor sucks.. it's slow and bloated."

While an EMACS user would respond, "Yeah well why don't you press -whatever!!"

These types of discussions could degenerate any thread at any time. People around the world would refer to this debate as the 'Editor Wars.' There was one problem. There was no real forum for the score to really be settled.

But time passed and things changed.

At last years Linux Expo, the Editor Wars were taken to the Paintball Field. A true battle would be fought to determine which editor was truly better. The teams were:

VI, VIM, ed
vs.
EMACS and other vile editors

Warriors wore a T-Shirt donated by O'Reilly Associates depicting their allegiance. The teams were split up with TEAM VI having 41 players and TEAM EMACS having 39, a fairly even split. Three games were fought to decide the victor (note that the word victor begins with 'VI' :-) Each game was fought to elimination or until the time limit ran out. Each editor zealot would be eliminated if he was shot anywhere on the body.

In the first match, VI decimated EMACS having 21 survivors and EMACS having none. The second game was equally bad, with VI having 17 survivors. Feeling really bad, the judges decided to handicap the VI team by surrounding them with EMACS users. However the judges didn't know what VI or EMACS was so they just refered to them as the 'monkeys' and 'cows' based on their respective O'Reilly animal. The game began, and the 'monkeys' were yet again triumphant with 11 survivors defeating the cows.

Decisively the winners, VI trumpeted their 'VI'ctory.

This year the battle will happen again at this years Linux Expo http://www.linuxexpo.org/events.html. I'm positive that VI will win again not because I will be playing on the VI team, but because EMACS sucks! :-) I guess you can tell what team I will be on. Choose your editor wisely.