Bug#563237: jed-extra: not obvious how to use new modes

Jonathan Nieder jrnieder at gmail.com
Mon Jan 4 08:35:45 UTC 2010

G. Milde wrote:

> Jed configuration is completely done in (commented) configuration files.
> Debian keeps them at /etc/jed.d/. The solution for your problem is in
> /etc/jed.d/05jed-common.sl.

Thanks --- ok, so I’ve changed the _Jed_Default_Emulation line to

 _Jed_Default_Emulation = "vi"

there.  There is a comment that says “% already set in site.sl”, but
I am hoping that does not matter.

Now if I run xjed, the bottom line says

 -**-----(Jed 0.99.19U) Vi: -INSERT-  : *scratch*      ()  All   2:05am-----

so I assume I am in vi mode.  But hitting escape does not exit insert
mode, so it is not clear how to move around, exit, or give any other

This reminds me: previously I tried writing

 () = evalfile("vi");

as my entire .jedrc and experienced the same result.  I assumed I
must be doing something wrong and forgot about it, but now I think the
source of confusion must have been the strange way vi mode works.

> In the Debian default configuration, (x)jed emulates emacs.

Maybe the README.Debian could mention this.  I am imagining something

 In the Debian default configuration, (x)jed emulates emacs.  To exit,
 press control-X followed by control-C.  This system default can be
 modified in the /etc/jed.d/05jed-common.sl file.

Some elaboration might also be helpful:

 To set the emulation mode for an individual user, add something like

  () = evalfile("vi");

 to the ~/.jedrc file.  Possible emulation modes are "brief", "cua",
 "emacs", "edt", "ide", "jed", "wordstar", and (with jed-extra) "vi".

but this probably belongs in the jed(1) man page instead, since it
is not distribution-specific.

> Would it help to replace the heading "Startup scheme" with "Configuration"?

Hmm.  I do like that heading more, but I did not find the content under
that heading so helpful.

| Debian Jed's startup scheme provides for startup code from other packages.

This sentence seems targetted more at Debian developers than users.
So this section did not have a very strong "information scent" for me.
Couldn't it just be removed?

| Instead of a config file, we use a config directory: At startup, Jed will
| evaluate all "*.sl" scripts in /etc/jed.d/.

Makes sense.  I could not find a document describing the syntax or
expected values in a jed startup file.  If I wrote a jedrc.5 file
based on examples/jed.rc.gz, would that be useful?

I also could not find any documentation describing jed.conf.
Would that work for setting a system default here?  Is there a
document describing it somewhere?

> Should we add "How do I select a different emulation mode?" to the FAQs?

My feeling is that this is less FAQ material than basic information.
Without knowing the key bindings or how to make them more familiar, it
can be hard to start using jed.  So ideally I would hope to see this
information in the manpage.

Thanks again for the help,

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