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I've seen some skilled unix/linux users use joe instead of vi(m) or nano. Why would they prefer using it over the provided alternatives?

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You might want to rephrase your question. No one here can pretend to know why the 'skilled unix/linux users' you have seen would prefer using any editor over any other. Perhaps: What are the benefits of using the joe text editor? Or something along those lines. – gabe. Feb 10 '11 at 16:51
I agree with the criticism, the title of the question was not well chosen. – Uku Loskit Feb 12 '11 at 11:16
up vote 13 down vote accepted

It's easier to learn than Vi, faster to start than Emacs, and more powerful than Pico/Nano (e.g. it has ctags support for programming).

But it's unlikely to be installed everywhere, so you should still know the basics of Vi and Emacs.

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I say Vi and Nano, because nano/pico, vi are the only ones that I've seen universally installed. – xenoterracide Feb 10 '11 at 0:27
Sure, it won't hurt to know how to use nano, but even if you've never used it before, you can figure it out using the on-screen help. – Mikel Feb 10 '11 at 1:16
Problem with vi is that sometimes, even though started as vi, it's vim and there are some not so subtle differences. But what I like with joe over nano/pico is the undo. That's something definitely missing in nano/pico versions I've seen installed. – 0xC0000022L Mar 7 '11 at 12:19

It uses WordStar key bindings by default. This was a common word processor in the early 80s, and I even used it in the early 90s. And perhaps even more relevant to a tech crowd, these key bindings were taken up by Borland's popular IDE for Turbo Pascal and Turbo C.

When I first got into Linux, I looked around for an editor that made sense to me, and hey, there it was.

I imagine that some other now-skilled Unix/Linux users followed the same path, because Linux arrived just at the end of WordStar's effective life (not to mention Borland's). So, one of the reasons is simply "timing".

Modern versions have syntax highlighting and other fancy features, so I haven't bothered to switch away.

(I know how to use vim for editing config files, though. That's kind of a mandatory skill.)

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Hi. Can you give some examples of wordstar's most commonly used key bindings? – trusktr Nov 4 '12 at 20:43

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