Using Common Command-Line Applications and Application Suites 618 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. When it comes to editing text on the Unix side, you'll find that many Unix programs use text files as input, create text files as output, or are configured using commands and variables set up in text files. To change the contents of these files, you'll need to use a text editor. As a matter of fact, most Unix software doesn't know the difference between a text file and any other file. Unlike in Mac OS, from the point of view of Mac OS X's underlying Unix system, files are files are files. If the user chooses to view some of them as containing text and some as containing programs, that's the user's business. An interesting consequence of this lack of concern about a file's contents is that the operating system is just as happy to allow you to use a text editor to edit the contents of your spreadsheet program itself as it is to enable you to attempt to run your email mailbox. Of course, if you actually have execute permission turned on for your email and try to run it, it's almost certainly going to result in nothing more interesting than a bus error and an immediate