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Text Editors

Even though you might think that you'll never have a reason to use anything other than a GUI text editor such as Alpha or BBEdit, there are a few arguments to be made for text-only mode editing in a terminal. Among them are that the text-only editors can be used even when the system can't display a GUI interface, and that an editor in a terminal can start much faster than most GUI editors. There's also the advantage that if you have occasion to work on Unix machines other than Mac OS X boxes, the command-line editors are what you will have available.

Finally, at this point, the GUI clients available currently seem to have a bit of a problem figuring out whether they should convert a file that they load into Mac-style text (for newlines) or Unix-style text. The Unix command-line editors are a bit more predictable in preferring Unix-format text. Because of this, if you're working with files in the traditional-Unix side of the system, you're probably safer sticking to the command-line editors.


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