1341: Types of Editors

Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
Revision as of 12:35, 12 March 2014 by (talk) (The emacs command in 378 is just a regular command, not a mode.)
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Types of Editors
m-x machineofdeath-mode
Title text: m-x machineofdeath-mode


WYSIWYG, pronounced, "whizz-ee-whig", is an acronym that stands for "What you see is what you get". In regards to computers, it refers to text editors in which the user can see exactly what will be published as he is typing it. The comic compares various types of editors.

A WYSIWYG editor displays the edited document in its final, typically printed, form.

A WYSIN(not)WYG, is similar to an HTML source editor, where you enter raw HTML code and are (in a different view) presented with the rendered appearance of the page. The em tag marks text that has stress emphasis

The WYSITUTWYG ("... is totally unrelated to ...") editor apparently takes your input and proceeds to ignore it entirely, instead displaying totally unrelated words.

Finally, the WYSIHYD ("... is how you die") "editor" is not an editor at all, but a pun on the multiple meanings of the word "get": If you see "eaten by wolves", you will get ... eaten by wolves. The white-on-black writing is probably a reference to the anime Death Note.

The title text is a fictitious command to the highly extensible Emacs text editor. Emacs operates in various "modes", which are customizations for specific purposes. Placing Emacs into "Machine of Death" mode would turn it into a WYSIHYD editor. Another fictitious emacs command can be found in comic 378. "Machine of Death" is a reference to the 2010 book Machine of Death, with Randall Munroe being one of the writers. It is a collection of short stories about a device than can predict how people die from a drop of their blood. In many of the stories very unusual deaths are predicted, often in a very literal way.


[There are four boxes, each with different headings over them.]

[First Box] WYSIWYG What you see is what you get What you see: Hi What you get: Hi

[Second Box] WYSINWYG What you see is not what you get What you see: <em>Hi</em> What you get: Hi

[Third Box] WYSITUTWYG What you see is totally unrelated to what you get What you see: <em>Hi</em> What you get: The HORSE is a noble animal.

[Last Box] WYSIHYD What you see is how you die What you see: EATEN BY WOLVES What you get: Eaten By Wolves