I know that if I enter
export EDITOR=joe
on the command line, it changes my default editor to joe - but that’s temporary.

How do I make that default the default default? Do I simply add the same line to .bash_profile?

(No sniggering about joe, please. I learned WordStar back in the 1970s, and it works well enough that I don’t see a need to devote dozens of hours to learning another editor.)

export VISUAL=joe

in .bash_profile, assuming you’re using bash. If you’re using tcsh, put:
setenv VISUAL joe

(EDITOR will probably work too, but it’s not really correct - historically EDITOR is used to specify the line editor (ie ed or whatever), and VISUAL is used to set the full screen editor (ie vi / emacs).

Wow. Eleven minutes to a response. I guess that means all systems are working well tonight!

I’m sure glad I wasn’t having to figure out the recent email system problems…

I guess it means that someone is working the graveyard shift this week :>