Editors are basic to getting work done as a software engineer. A software engineer spends a truly frightening number of hours using their editor so it is important that they both like the editor they use and that they be as efficient as possible in using it. Choosing an editor is among the choices of a software engineer that is most personal, and is often a matter of personal taste.

In this lab, we will introduce you to two of the most popular test editors: vi (a lightweight and powerful text editor) and emacs (a feature-rich text editor). It requires some initial effort to learn the command sequence in order to using the vi and emacs text editors. However, once you have learned how to use them, the powerful editors can serve you well, especially when connected remotely in such a way that you cannot use a graphic editor.

Lab Exercises

The lab will follow a learn-and-practice mode. You will first learn basic commands required for reasonably efficient use of vi and Emacs as the editor. Then, follow the instruction of the TA to conducts a few tasks, including: (1) Basic vi familiarity: open and edit a file in vi to gain basic knowledge of the core commands. This is advisable for survival in situation where no other editor is available. (2) Basic emacs text file editing: open and edit a file in emacs to gain basic knowledge of the core commands. (3) Directory browsing in emacs: Simple. Easy. Fast. And (4) Compilation and error correction: compile java source from within emacs.

Grading Criteria

This lab has 5 lab points. To receive the credits, you should be in the lab, conduct tasks following the instruction of the TA and demonstrate your results to the TA.