[nSLUG] Need fix for plain text showing garbage in Mac (Word)

Jack Warkentin jwark at eastlink.ca
Wed May 18 23:09:58 ADT 2005

Hi Everybody

On Tue, 2005-05-17 at 17:49, bob ashley wrote:
> <snip>

> I wrote a gedit (default GUI text editor/Debian sarge/Gnome) file of my
> resume. 
> <snip>
> Short-term aim: A generic text file which renders a clean read for Mac,
> Windows users, whatever.  
> Long-term aim: Extricate myself from the old word processing/GUI habit,
> go to text editing. Select and learn a suitable editor, with the long
> haul in mind. 

In the (UNIX) beginning there was ed. And, because there was no
X-windows, a "visual mode" was added to ed so that a screenfull of the
file being edited could be viewed all at once. You guessed it, that was
vi. Both commands were implemented with the same binary (ed and vi were
hard links to the same binary) and the visual or line mode was
determined by the command used to invoke it. Or the mode could be
changed from within the session.

I had assumed that there was a version of vi in /bin so that, in crisis
situations, on systems where /usr was on a different partition from / it
would still be possible to edit files without resorting to ed. Alas on
my Libranet 2.8.1 GNU/Linux I find ed in /bin (with *no* visual mode)
and no vi in either /bin or /sbin.

So, in times past, *everybody* learned to be sufficiently proficient in
vi to be able to handle emergencies.

Then word processors, X-windows and a large variety of editors became
available and the wars began. But since, as has been said, you can find
just about anything you want on live-CD versions of GNU/Linux you can
decide on the one you like, learn it sufficiently well for your purposes
and that will be all you need.

However, be clear as to what text editors and word processors are good
for. Text editors are great for creating/modifying configuration files
and program code files. But I don't know why you would want to write a
resume, for instance, using a text editor. It would never have the
professional look that could be achieved with a word processor. Unless,
of course, you were using the text editor to created some form of markup
language file that would later be processed to produce that professional
typeset look.

And that brings us back full circle. UNIX was originally created as a
system for computer-generated typesetting. Guess what was used to create
the files that would then be processed to produce the typesetting files?



Jack Warkentin, phone: 902-404-0457; email: jwark at eastlink.ca
39 Inverness Avenue, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, B3P 1X6


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