In the great debates of Pirates vs. Ninjas and Emacs vs. Vi, there is one overarching question:
Do Pirates and Ninjas use Emacs or Vi?
Philosecurity has conducted countless hours of research, interviewed real ninjas and pirates in their natural environs, and launched intensive laboratory studies involving monkeys in order to bring you, our readers, the scientifically proven answers you demand.
After thousands of hours and monkey brains, our scientists have reached the following conclusions:
- Pirates use Emacs
- Ninjas Use Vi
Laboratory results showed that 92% of ninjas preferred vi, while fully 96% of pirates used emacs. In the wild, these numbers were even higher (94% and 97.5%, respectively).
Philosecurity’s expert team of scientists conducted an extensive genetic analysis and concluded that pirates were more genetically fit for the emacs programming environment, while ninjas were predisposed for survival in the vi environment. These genetic features can clearly be seen in the following photos of leading emacs and vi users:
Hand placement conceals poison dart
In order to better understand why, we gathered a team of anthropologists, programming experts, and behavioral psychiatrists to analyze the data. Our experts concluded that there are deep-seated psychological, cultural and evolutionary reasons that pirates use emacs and ninjas use vi.
Why Ninjas Use Vi
According to vi’s author Bill Joy, vi was designed to be usable over “a 300-baud modem,” on systems that could “just barely get the cursor off the bottom line.” This was in contrast to Emacs, which “was written for systems with blazing fiber-channel links and monster PDP-10′s.” (Jackson, Linux.com) Ninjas, who emerged in 15th century feudal Japan, would no doubt have appreciated vi’s functionality even across limited communications facilities and on older equipment.
Vi is designed to allow “users of the QWERTY keyboard to keep their fingers on the home row, thus requiring less movement to edit.” This would undoubtedly appeal to ninjas, who are “skilled in the art of stealth.” (Wikipedia)
Vi was originally designed to do a few things well, and avoid feature bloat. This also appealed to ninjas, who had to travel light. Over the centuries, ninja evolved increasingly specialized equipment, such as shobo rings to hit pressure points, metsubushi (small bombs) and poison shuriken (throwing weapons). “The assassination, espionage, and infiltration tasks of the ninja led to the development of specialized technology in concealable weapons and infiltration tools.”(Wikpedia) Similarly, over time vi has evolved offshoots such as vim with increasingly powerful features designed for the programming environment.
Vi has two modes:
- Command mode – Stealthily leap from line to line, over sentences, leaving no trace.
- Insert mode – Text everywhere
Ninjas have two modes:
- Stealth mode – Silently leap from tree to tree, over fences, leaving no trace
- Battle mode – Bodies everywhere
Why Pirates Use Emacs
Emacs was designed to be “highly customizable and includes a large number of bells and whistles, as it is essentially a Lisp programming language execution environment…” (Wikipedia)
Pirates are highly concerned with customization. What they lack in speed they make up for in panache: swanky flags, matching shoulder parrots and even customized limbs with fancy hooks and pegs. Pirates work hard to customize their ships, their costumes, their appendages and their speech. Emacs is traditionally slower than vi, but that wouldn’t be much concern for pirates, who are usually drunk and missing limbs anyway.
Pirates place themselves along trade routes and routinely raid passing ships, which gives them access to the most modern equipment. One of their overarching professional goals is to accumulate lots of valuable stuff. In the course of daily raids they acquire the most modern technology, which they can then use to run a more resource-intensive programming editor such as Emacs.
Based on extensive laboratory research on monkeys, as well as detailed analysis of wild pirate/ninja habitats, Phillosecurity’s team of experts has uncovered clear evidence that pirates use Emacs and ninjas use vi. The team also identified several cultural and evolutionary factors which have contributed to this trend.
Still, open questions remain. According to leading programming expert Gary Longsine, “Vampires use vi with an emacs plugin.” What editors will robots and space aliens prefer? Only time will tell.
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