- GNU Emacs, an extensible,
customizable real-time display editor, is The One True Editor. It was
developed and is maintained by Richard Stallman. It offers true
Lisp--smoothly integrated into the editor--for writing extensions,
and provides an interface to the X Window System (it works equally
well on a dumb-terminal (VT100, etc.)).
In addition to its powerful native command set, extensions which
emulate other popular editors (vi, EDT (DEC's VMS editor) Wordstar,
and Gosling (aka Unipress) Emacs) are distributed. An extermely short
list of features making emacs a full computing-support environment
include: pull-down menus, multiple fonts, multiple windows with
multiple views into the same file, on-the-fly syntax highliting for
various languages including C.
Users seeking help or guidance with using or installing Emacs can
post queries (after consulting the GNU Emacs FAQ (please!)) to gnu.emacs.help (a mailing-list
gatewayed to USENET), comp.emacs.xemacs and comp.emacs. (alt.religion.emacs offers support
for the truly devout seeking enlightenment.)
Knuth is an Emacs user.
User contributed additions in the form of LISP packages (games
(tetris), PIM's, databases, calendars, mailers, news-readers, binary
hex-editors, etc.) are available from the definitive LISP archive:
GNU Emacs (or sometimes, a less feature-laden derivative) is
available for every
system on this earth; the latest version 20.4 is available for
ftp at various GNU archive sites
around the world.
What's GNU? GNU's Not Unix!
(Note that various media, containing all the sources (of course) and
pre-compiled binaries (all major platforms) of all their applications
(emacs, gcc, gdb, gnuchess, etc.) and utilities (groff, flex, gmake,
etc.) in addition to the latest release of X), may be ordered from
the Free Software Foundation (for more information, send email to
firstname.lastname@example.org or refer to the order form
William Smith has made the source and binaries for GNU EMACS
available via ftp on:
Binaries are avilable for:
- IBM RS6000 3.2.0-3.2.5 with X11R4 or X11R5;
- HP-UX 9.00-9.04 series 800 with X11R5;
- Solaris 2.3 with X11R5;
- SCO 22.214.171.124 (ODT 2.0) - 126.96.36.199 (ODT 3.0) with X11R5; and
- MSDOG (oemacs 4.1 GNU Emacs 19.19).
XEmacs 20.3, formerly Lucid Emacs
19.10, developed by Jamie Zawinski,
now maintained by Chuck Thompson, is derived from GNU Emacs version
19. Pre-compiled binaries are available for most popular platforms;
the reader is encouraged to check-out the XEmacs home-page for
details about the specific files to retrive. The XEmacs FAQ is
available at: www.xemacs.org/FAQ/index.html
Some of XEmacs' popular features include:
The latest version is available for ftp from the canonical
- TTY (dumb terminal) support (includes face support);
- built-in toolbar and support to many packages;
- the ability to embed pixmaps (glyphs) of arbitrary size in a buffer;
- use of variable width fonts;
- on a machine with audio hardware, XEmacs can play sound files
instead of the default X beep;
- embedding an X window in a buffer in the same way as a pixmap;
external programs (such as GhostScript, or an MPEG player) can
then render arbitrary graphics on that window.
Since ftp.xemacs.org has a 10-user limit on simultaneous users, you
are advised to seek the distribution at one of the following mirror
- aXe (an X editor) was developed by Jim Wight. It is a simple to
use text editor that represents a significant improvement over xedit.
Built around the Athena Text Widget it features, amongst other things:
- multiple windows and multiple buffers;
- menu interface with configurable menus;
- parenthesis matching, keyboard macros and regexp searching;
- restricted or unlimited undo;
- ability to change font;
- hypertext on-line help.
The latest version of aXe, 6.1.2, is avaliable for ftp from:
- xcoral, developed by Lionel Fournigault, Bruno
Pages and Dominique Leveque is a multi-window text editor. It
- a built-in browser to navigate through C functions and C++
classes, methods and files;
- a built-in ANSI C interpreter to dynamically extend
user functions, key bindings, modes etc;
- variable-width fonts and colour syntax hilighting;
- menus, scrollbars, buttons, kill-buffers, search, macros, undo
regions, and a online manual;
- commands are accessible from either menus or keyboard;
- RCS interface and ability to run Unix commands (make, grep, etc.).
The latest version of xcoral, 3.14, is available for ftp at:
- asedit, developed by Andrzej Stochniolis, is a text editor built
around the Motif text widget. It includes support for the following
languages: English, Dutch, French, German, Polish, Portuguese and
Swedish. All commands and messages are localized for each language;
the context sensitive, hypertext on-line help, however, is only
available in English. It features:
- multiple editing windows with "point and click" interface;
- drag and drop support (Motif 1.2 and above);
- multiple undo and redo of edits;
- user customizable commands and filters;
- support for emacs keyboard bindings.
Version 1.3 of asedit (International Free Release) is available for
- Refer to part
4 of the comp.lang.tcl FAQ for an extensive list of editors
that have been written with Tcl/Tk.
- sam, developed by Rob Pike, is a hybrid command-oriented/GUI
multi- file editor for Bell
9, that has been ported to X.
sam was developed as an editor for use by programmers, and tries to
join the styles of the Unix text editor ed(1) with that of
interactive cut and paste editors by providing a comfortable
mouse-driven interface to a program with a solid command-language
driven by regular expressions.
sam extends the regular expression paradigm beyond line-oriented ASCII
files by introducing "structural regular expressions", which can partition
a file into arbitrary textual units.
sam supports the UTF-8 file-format-- an 8-bit encoding of the 16 bit
Unicode character set which has nice properties like ASCII being
preserved. This feature allows sam to simultaneously represent
multiple languages in a single file. Although full Unicode support is
unavailable, sam's flexibility with international text is still beyond
that of most text editors.
The latest version of sam is available for ftp from:
- wily (The Wile
E. Interface), developed by Gary Capell, is an
emulation for the Unix/X environment of Acme,
the Plan 9
editor. Wily (and acme(1))
integrates some of the functions of editor, window manager, file
browser and shell, as well as providing an interface for external
programs such as mail and news readers.
The latest version of wily may be fetched from:
, (VI Like Emacs), developed by Paul Fox now maintained by Thomas
E. Dickey, is a vi workalike. It works in an xterm (vile) and as a
true X client (xvile).
- multi-file editing and viewing (split-screen windows);
- key rebinding (in addition to :map, :map!, :abbr);
- mouse support (in an xterm, or when built as xvile);
- selection highlighting;
- full function- and arrow-key support;
- filename, command, internal mode and variable completion;
- command, search string, and filename history;
- infinite undo;
- rectangular operations;
- man-page and C syntax highlighting;
- built-in macro language;
- "next error" cursor positioning after compilation;
- vi operations on selected regions.
xvile features all the features of vile and additionally:
- scrollbars and more complete mouse integration;
- on-the-fly font change;
- selection highlighting;
- color support.
The latest version, 8.3, is available for ftp at:
Pre-built DOS, Win32, and OS/2 (requires a 386 or better) executables
(vile52b.zip) are sometimes available.
developed by Mark Edel, is a Macintosh/MS Windows style text editor
for Unix and VMS systems.
It provides users who are accustomed to modern GUI-based environments
with the standard dialogs, menus, graphics, and keyboard shortcuts
that are absent in most other X-based editors. NEdit is also one of
the most mouse-interactive text editors available, with support for
both primary and secondary quick-action selections, rectangular
selections, interactive dragging, and complete integration into the
Supported executables are available for Silicon Graphics, Sun
(Solaris & SunOS), HP, OSF/1, DEC Ultrix, IBM AIX, Linux, and VMS
systems. Contributed executables and makefiles are available for
many other systems.
Sources and executables of the latest version, 5.0.2, are available
- ce, developed by Enabling Technologies Group, is a full-screen,
text editor that was originally developed for users migrating from
Apollo's Domain environment and was modelled after the Display
Manager editor. It features:
- multiple edit sessions;
- rectangular cut & paste;
- global bounded search and replace;
- coordinated mouse and text cursor control;
- command macros;
- unlimited UNDO & REDO;
- customized keyboard mapping;
- automatic file backup and save.
ce is available for IBM AIX, Hewlett-Packard HP-UX, Sun SunOS &
Solaris, HP Apollo Domain/OS, DEC OSF/1 & Ultrix, SGI IRIX, and
Evaluation binaries, that normally expire 30-60 days after
downloading (see the README file for more details), are available
for various platforms, at:
Note: The Linux version of ce has no expiration. It is a
- xwpe, developed by Fred Kruse, is a programming environment
similar to the Borland C++ or Turbo Pascal IDE; the difference being
that, unlike the Borland IDE, different compilers and linkers may be
invoked. See Question IV for details.
developed by Randolf Werner, is an editor based on the Athena
text widget. It features the usual amenities like on-line help,
search/replace, piping the text through a Unix command, etc.
The latest version is available at:
developed by Bram Moolenaar, is the "Vi IMproved" editor. It is so
compatible with vi - it even simulates Vi's bugs! The improvements
include different modes (C, HTML, LaTeX), fontification, drop-down
menus, multiple buffers, multi-level undo, online-help, &c.
The latest version is available at the primary site (and various