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[Gnu-arch-users] Re: Call for opinion. Breaking out cmd-* from libarch

From: Nikolai Weibull
Subject: [Gnu-arch-users] Re: Call for opinion. Breaking out cmd-* from libarch
Date: Thu, 16 Sep 2004 15:47:40 +0200
User-agent: Mutt/1.5.6i

* Miles Bader <address@hidden> [Sep 16, 2004 15:15]:
> > > QED.  There are multiple versions, afaict.  It was spread from
> > > person to person rather than broadcast --- lots of interbred forks
> > > (it looked like).
> > Ah, as I suspected.  Certainly one of the most influential editors
> > ever.

> Joke?

No.  It was the first to really bring the power of regular expression to
a text editor.  It led to the UNIX ed, which led to vi, which led to
Vim.  It led to jim which led to sam.  Its command language is a
wonderful abstraction of useful textual manipulations, albeit its line
orientation has some flaws, as Rob Pike will tell you [1].  You can read
more in [2] and [3].

1.  Rob Pike, Structural Regular Expressions, Proceedings of the EUUG
    Spring 1987 Conference, pp. 21--28, Helsinki (1987).  Available at

2.  Dennis M. Ritchie, An Incomplete History of the QED Text Editor
    (unpublished).  Available at

3.  Dennis M. Ritchie and Ken L. Thompson, QED Text Editor, Technical
    Memorandum MM-70-137-3 and MM-70-1371-2, Bell Labs (1970).
    Available at

> I've only known like 3 people that used qed, and they were all dt
> groupies like Tom...  [not to say it wasn't a cool editor, but
> influential??]

Vim being the most loved editor, if Linux Journals' yearly poll is
anything to go by, I wouldn't say QED hasn't been influential.  Simply
because no one has been using it for some odd number of years, and the
fact that it is rarely referred to or acknowledged, doesn't mean it
hasn't been influential.

Sure, EMACS has been responsible for a whole different line of text
editors, that have been put to good use, but one could say that without
TECO there wouldn't have been an EMACS and perhaps we wouldn't be using
^P to move up a line.

So, just as TECO spawned EMACS (and all the EMACSen since), QED has a
very important role in the history of "that other editor that doesn't
seem to want to die",
        nikolai (who's hoping he hasn't stated any non-truths above)

::: name: Nikolai Weibull    :: aliases: pcp / lone-star / aka :::
::: born: Chicago, IL USA    :: loc atm: Gothenburg, Sweden    :::
::: page:  :: fun atm: gf,lps,ruby,lisp,war3 :::

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