Hmm.. Not many people know of this either, and I find it funny, because it's definately not necessary to learn something like vim just to edit a simple file.
My editor of choice is nano, an editor based on pico (comes with pine), but it's got a lot more to offer, and it's so simple, too! How does syntax highlighting and auto indentation sound? Not to mention mouse support?
Ok, first of all, download the nano sources from their site (http://www.nano-editor.org/). Unpack it. Now, run the following command:
./configure --prefix=/usr --enable-colors --enable-extra
(change prefix to whatever you prefer)
--enable-colors will enable color-highlighting, and --enable-extra enables some small, nifty features people most likely will appreciate.
Make and install as usual (make && make install for you newbies out there )
Ok, now that we've got it installed, let's enable those fun features, shall we?
Look in the source-dir. There's a file there called nanorc.sample. This contains a few nice options we'd like to turn on. Just uncomment whatever you like.
Something to take notice of, as well, is that the syntax highlighting specifications lie there as well. These utilizes regexp for definition. Just uncomment whatever sections you find interesting.
Personally, I like no word-wrapping, auto-indentation and a tabsize at 4, as well as PHP syntax highlighting (look further down for that).
Now, after saving it, copy it to your home-dir as .nanorc. All changes will now work.
To add more definitions for syntax highlighting, simply append to the end of the file. Here's a link to a nice PHP-highlighter: http://www.37com.net/junk/php_syntax
Hope this helps someone