A Personal History of Modeless Text Editing and Cut/Copy-Paste by Larry Tesler

Recently Larry Tesler died.

He’s famous for many things, including the invention of “Cut/Copy-Paste” metaphor and his quest against “modes” in software. (He even had a “NO MODES” license plate on his car)

One of his article resurfaced, and it contains nice bits about something we all know and love: going from VERB-SUBJECT concept to SUBJECT-VERB.

It’s quite interesting to see that in computing, everything old is new again.



I was poking around internet, searching more on Larry Tesler, and found this interesting talk about how we can possibly view our code (and not only code) and get immediate response from it, which mentions Larry at the second half of it. Though talk is not about modes, I find interesting that Kakoune states that interactivity and immediate response matters, and this is what differs Kakoune from Vim. When first trying Kakoune I’ve immediately noticed this aspect of the editor – each action provided instant feedback, and it was very nice, because lack of feedback was huge issue for me when I was learning how to Vim.

The talk takes this approach far further and applies it to various spheres of creativity.