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Date   : Mon, 08 Jun 1981007:19:00-MDT
Subject: An Editor Philosophy

Hi, Everyone,

        The recent  discussions  over  the  weekend  have  been  quite
enjoyable  and  interesting,  and I have been noting an inordinate (my
opinion, of course) amount of interest and  enthusiasm  for  the  Word
Star text editor/formatter.

        What I wanted to bring up  in  this  note  is  a  question  of
philosophy.   I  currently use both Word Master (which runs for around
$150) and Word Star (which runs for around  $400+),  and  have  edited
files  as  large  as  170K  with  each  (to  emphasize that size is no
problem).  Over a period of time and  after  some  experimentation,  a
basic philosophy has developed which may be of interest --

                1.  For the largest extent of my work  (software
                    development),   Word   Master  is  generally

                2.  When  document preparation is the objective,
                    Word Star is DEFINITELY preferred

        Why?   User  interaction  is  the  key.  My basic objective in
using an editor is to compose the text as quickly as possible and move
on  to  the assembly or compilation.  Although Word Star is admittedly
phenomenal  in  its  capabilities,  for  strict  text  work  with   no
formatting, Word Master exhibits the following traits:

                1.  WM is generaly FASTER (no overlays to  load,
                    no  drastic  refreshing  of  screen displays
                    during  global  and   local   substitutions,
                    extreme ease of use in the video mode [there
                    are   only   7   commands   I   really   use

                2.  WM exhibits capabilities  not  found  in  WS
                    [counterpoint    --    WS    exhibits   many
                    capabilities  not  found  in  WM];  the   WM
                    extensions, such as macro command definition
                    and execution and the ED subset (I  actually
                    like  ED,  being  that  it was my first CP/M
                    editor) which  lends  itself  to  repetative
                    operations  which  don't  waste  my  time by
                    refreshing  the  screen  each  time  one  is
                    performed or can be made to just reprint the
                    edited or modified line and then go on

                3.  WM   provides   very  little  overhead  (10K
                    editor, 4K HELP file) and, aside from saving
                    disk  space, provides a larger memory buffer
                    than WS (is this  true???)   that  decreases
                    the frequency of disk accesses

        In sum, the core of what I am trying to say is to not view  WS
as  a  panacea;  I  feel  that  the  editor should be selected for the
intended application.  I also use EDIT-80, and have  selected  it  for
use  by  remote  users who dial into my system because it is (1) disk-
based, (2) NOT terminal dependent, (3) relatively responsive, and  (4)
provides   little   disk  overhead.   EDIT-80,  WM,  and  WS  are  all
outstanding editors, and I am sure that this is just a subset  of  the
good  editors  out there.  Each should be judged on its own merits and
should be selected for your particular (each  particular)  application
based  on  its responsiveness (minimum delay when a command is issued)
and applicability and utility in a particular situation.


        By the way, I am the one with the long uname at BBNB, and  you
may address me more simply by sending mail to CONN at MC (such mail is
automatically forwarded to BBNB).

                                       Rick Conn
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