Text Editors in The Lord of the Rings

July 29, 2011
By

(This article was first published on Kieran Healy's Weblog » R, and kindly contributed to R-bloggers)

Prompted by a passing thought about TextMate, I thought I’d make a comprehensive, accurate, unbiased, and irrefutable survey of text editors by way of comparison to locations in The Lord of the Rings.

TextMate: Minas Tirith

A once-great but now decaying city. Only the King has the power to renew it, but he is a long absent, indeed half-legendary figure—though there are persistent rumors that he is alive still in some distant land. In his stead, the city slowly falls in upon itself, kept in some sort of working order by its melancholy people. They can repair but not truly rebuild it, and they pray daily for the Return of the King.

BBEdit: The Shire

A quiet, long-overlooked land populated by simple folk who keep mostly to themselves. They are somewhat set in their ways, awkward in their manners, and superficially incapable of apparently simple tasks. Yet they hide deep roots and unexpected strengths.

Emacs: Fangorn

Vast, ancient, knarled and mostly impenetrable, tended by a small band of ancient shepherds old as the world itself, under the command of their leader, Neckbeard. They possess unbelievable strength, are infuriatingly slow, and their land is entirely devoid of women. It takes forever to say anything in their strange, rumbling language.

vi: Moria

Like Fangorn, ancient and deep, with hints of the long labor of a great people. There is, supposedly, a monumental city of stone down here somewhere but it’s so dark I can’t see a damn thing. No, wait! A shaft of light illuminates some runes! They read as follows:

^C^C^X^X^X^Xquit
qQ!qdammit[esc]qwertyuiopasdfghjkl;
:xwhat

The Wizard translates: “We cannot get out! We cannot get out! They are coming!”

Microsoft Word: Barad-dur

No need to explain this one.

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