Text Editing with Unix

Text Editing with Unix

Text editing is a common thing to do in any environment. For instance, most websites and their associated web pages run on Unix or Linux web servers. This is a fact. That being said, think of what a website is comprised of. A website contains directories and files that create a website. This is what you would commonly access with a web browser. I am sure you already know this, but what you may not know is that those files saved in the HTML format are nothing more than files that you can edit. Once edited, those files will display whatever it is you desire to configure.

All of this can be done by default with any standard installation of Unix or Linux with either the vi editor or emacs. Create a document and save it with a .htm extension (for HTML or Hypertext Markup Language format) and you save it to a directory that you set up for the web as a website. It's that simple; you have just created your first web page.

Can you see the power of the text editor now? That's not all. You will be amazed at what these tools can do, and the sheer power they contain will keep you learning for what seems a lifetime.

There is some humor in learning about editing files within Unix as well. There is actually a rivalry between groups who think vi editor is better than emacs and vice versa. Regardless of which is better, one thing is for certain: Unix editors have immense power, so it's certain that no matter which one you happen to choose, you will be happy. Commonly, those used to shell prompts and older Unix users and administrators prefer the vi editor. Those who use GUI environments are more used to working with emacs.

In this lesson we cover both. My recommendation to you is that whichever one makes you happy, dig deeper into it beyond this pocket guide that covers only the fundamentals.

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