What is the easiest and most accessible editor?

Linux for blind general discussion blinux-list at redhat.com
Mon Nov 29 20:42:07 UTC 2021

Tim here.  It really depends on what environment you're in, how much
power you need, how customizable you need it to be, and how you

- vi/vim: very powerful, should be available out of the box on most
  installs, but a bit opaque.  This is my daily driver for

- emacs: also very powerful, the scripting language is LISP and very
  customizable; doesn't come out-of-the-box on most installs, but can
  be easily added

- nano: a much lower learning curve, but also a much lower ceiling.
  There are things that I do regularly with vi/vim that would be
  impossible with nano

- ed: the classic line-based editor.  It *should* be available
  out-of-the-box on every system since it's part of the POSIX
  specification, but a lot of distros have relegated it to a package
  you have to install after the fact.  It's line-based, so it has a
  much more input/output based feel to it which can work more
  comfortably with a screen-reader, without the need to review the
  screen (like the other editors here which have TUIs and take over
  the whole display).  When I'm using text-to-speech, I actually
  prefer ed.  It's kinda opaque, but learning the basics doesn't take
  long, and it's really light-weight yet powerful.  Though I'm biased
  since I'm the goofball behind the "ed(1) conference" account on
  Twitter (@ed1conf).  There's also "edbrowse" (I believe it was
  created by a blind developer) which takes some of the
  ideas/interface of "ed" and adds a lot of additional features to it.

- joe, jove, and a host of other smaller console text editors.  I
  haven't messed around with them as much since I'm content with
  what's available out of the box with vi, vim, or ed.

Outside a terminal, there are a number of GUI text-editors and IDEs
that folks like, but I'm not as well-versed with them since I'm an old
terminal dork. (grins)  The accessibility of any of those will
definitely vary so you'd have to try each out for yourself.  The nice
thing about the terminal is that you can easily review every element
on the screen because it's just a grid of characters. GUIs have to
expose such information intentionally, at the beneficence of the

The learning-curves for vi/vim, ed, and emacs can be a little
steeper, but vim comes with a "vimtutor" program that helps walk you
through using it.  And to some folks, the modal nature of vi/vim/ed
takes a while to get used to.  But anybody who has used a
screen-reader likely understands the idea of a "review mode" which is
also a modal interface.

I've used vi/vim for 20+ years and am glad to help where I can.  You
can also find me on the Vim mailing list, on Reddit's /r/vim and as
@gumnos on Twitter, and as mentioned, I run the @ed1conf account on
Twitter & Mastodon, so I can help there, too.

Hope this helps,


On November 29, 2021, Linux for blind general discussion wrote:
> Hi Friends,
> Since you have been lately discussing configurations and editing
> them, changing them, or adding scripts, What is the most accessible
> and easiest editor to use in Slint for editing configurations? My 
> understanding is that Vi, Nano, and Pico all come preinstalled. Are 
> there other text editors preinstalled? or, Do you recommend one
> that I can install if the abovementioned ones are not recommended?
> Cheers,
> Ibrahim
> _______________________________________________
> Blinux-list mailing list
> Blinux-list at redhat.com
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