[thelist] OT: KABOOOOOOM (explosions are cool)

Lauri Watts lauri at subdimension.com
Fri May 25 15:40:01 CDT 2001

On Friday 25 May 2001 20:52, you wrote:
> >Hmmm, YMMV there.  People who put "notepad" on a resume >don't impress me
> > at all, because notepad has no features.  >None.
> So you must have features in order to write/edit code?
> >I'm not talking about the latest wysiwyg whizz bang drag >and drop, I'm
> > talking about simple things like syntax >highlighting, indenting, maybe
> > some further features like >validation, code completion.
> When I began "writing code" by punching holes in cards syntax highlighting,
> indenting, and further features were awefully handy. Imagine my disdain
> when I got my hands on a text editor on a monochrome monitor.

Congratulations, you are very old and wise, maybe even older than me.  That's 
not the point though.  The point is, using tools that work against you rather 
than for you is counter-productive, and I'm all about productivity, 
especially when I'm wearing a "Do I give this person a job" hat.

> >These are things that help you work faster, because they >help you work
> > smarter.  I do the majority of my work in >SGML and XML, and the same
> > goes for those.
> Are SGML and XML editors? Or did you pass an incomplete idea here?

As opposed to HTML.  And I don't much care what editor I use, and I'll use 
notepad if that's what's available, although I can't think of a situation 
where it's the only choice there is.  Be as pedantic as you like, you're 
still missing my point.

> >I agree a text editor will teach you to look at your >markup in an
> > entirely different way than a wysiwyg editor, >but that should be a text
> > editor that helps you, not >hinders you.   Notepad is the editor of
> > choice for >masochists and people woh
> Again, an incomplete thought here? But, Notepad is the editor of choice for
> some (emphasis on 'is').

Yes, and bad editing. Shoot me, hurt me, make me finish my sentences (gosh, I 
might like that anyway.)

> >Emacs (+ psgml mode), vi, (both freely available on >platforms you've
> > probably never even heard of) or the more >traditional Windows HomeSite
> > and Mac BBEdit - those will >get my attention. Notepad on the other hand,
> > does not.
> How do you know that this person has not heard of UNIX or Linux or AIX or
> BSD? Homesite traditional? Notepad would be traditional as far as Windows
> is concerned as it has been in every Windows release, where Homesite (I use
> the not so fancy version of Homesite - v1.2, released about 5 years ago)has
> not been around as long.

It's been around nearly so long as the web :)

Anyway, neither HomeSite nor BBEdit will run on such various things as PDP10, 
the non IBM PC compatible "Japanese PC98" platform (shoot, I'd never heard of 
that myself until I had someone wanting to write for me and using one.  He 
manages just fine, should you care, using vi.)   

Or for that matter any of the other weird and wonderful things that people 
actually use to get their day to day work done.  Unfortunately for me, most 
of the time our work does have to be available on all these :)

Still, things like vi and emacs (and many more) are certainly available on 
platforms I'd never heard of until I looked up the list of exactly what 
they've been ported to.  No, I didn't go and do that for this discussion, I'm 
really not petty, and I'm sorry I don't couch my words in more sensitive 
terms, and all wrapped up in smileys, I'll try harder next time to remember 
that most of you don't know me.  It's not like I post very often, so that's 
my own fault I guess.

Yes Emacs has a learning curve - but I can get writers productively marking 
up DocBook (either SGML or XML) within a day or so using Emacs + PSGML, and 
that's a very much larger DTD than HTML.  People using a simpler editor take 
longer go learn their way around, and take more correction, editing and post 
submission work.   I'm talking about people who've never used any of these 
tools, but we supply them with lots of help, early support and a good cheat 
sheet of key and mouse bindings.  Oh, and the manuals, but who needs to RTFM 
when you have a real person to help you get going.  

> <tip>
> Code by hand, in any editor, anywhere, anytime. WRIRE code, code, and more
> code. Don't worry about the features, worry about the code. Learn to indent
> and comment properly, in that you will learn where to search for syntax
> errors and become more intuitive in your coding. Document and comment that
> which you have written, for someone with a fancier editor may come along
> and still not be able to discern what you have done without it...but the
> color code will sure look good. </tip>

That's more like it, even if it's a little sarcastic.

Someone else points out that they auto tab-indent, out of habit.  That's 
great, but not useful for everyone - in my environment, indenting with tabs 
is frowned upon, and we have a very strict "style guide" to stick to, 
whatever language, programming or markup, the source is in.  It takes just a 
second to reformat an aberrant file with a good editor though.  You ought to 
hear the developers whining about having to do it though.  There's one guy 
who reverts things out of a CVS repository for bad indenting, even if it's a 
perfectly good piece of programming.  That's a little over the top, and he 
gets whined at as well, but in a situation where several hundred people are 
possibly working on the same things, all with a different idea how to format 
things, that stuff happens.

Maybe you took me too personally.  It wasn't meant that way, I was just 
pointing out that "I use Notepad" is not inherently enough to get people in a 
hiring position to notice you.  

<tip type="email" author="Lauri Watts">
Don't take things said on mailing lists too personally.  Unless it says "You, 
<your name>, sir/madam, are an idiot, and your mother dresses you funny", 
it's probably not intended to mean that either.  

Lauri, sorry that things went personal, it certainly wasn't intended, and 
considering blaming the toddler for pushing send too early.

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