Getting started with commands

Doghouse – Starting Out

Article from Issue 267/2023

Free and open source software can be intimidating at first; a little guidance can help you on your way.

Recently, I was at a conference and I met a young person who wanted to start using free and open source software, but they did not know where to start.

They told me that they were a programmer and even could do simple programs in C, but they wanted an open source IDE (there are a couple) and they were "even willing to learn vim or emacs, but they are really hard."

Now I have been a vim person for a long time, mostly through a series of editors that first started using hardcopy terminals. While these editors were not written by the same people, each was typically compatible enough that I moved from one to the other as the new ones occurred. I was using vi/ex (very usable on a hardcopy terminal) when I migrated to vi/ex on character cell terminals that used termcap to translate strings of cursor-control output for positioning characters on the screen.


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