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editor and word processor history (was: Re: RTF for emacs)

From: Emanuel Berg
Subject: editor and word processor history (was: Re: RTF for emacs)
Date: Thu, 29 May 2014 03:38:31 +0200
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/24.3 (gnu/linux)

Emanuel Berg <> writes:

> I never heard of WordStar - it doesn't seem to be
> related to Oracle's StarOffice either because it
> originated from a program called StarWriter.

Wait... It's coming back to me. Like a blue, gray, and
white star as the splash screen, for the early PC? Back
then, I used computers from the accursed Apple world,
so the word processors were MacWrite, M$ Word, and,
much later, ClarisWorks (shivers). On the PC at
somewhat the same time, perhaps a bit later, there were
the WordPerfect, which was simpler, along with Word.

For the Unix world, I have read there was once an
editor called ed that didn't showed the file being
manipulated at all - the "state" of the file, as it was
called (unbelievable). Some people actually liked that,
so some other people made em ("ed for mortals") which I
believe showed a single line - that project (em) forked
to ex (extended editor) and ded (display editor). ex
later became vi (visual editor) and even later vim ("vi

Emacs (or EMACS, the macro editor) came from the MIT
project TECO (text/tape editor and corrector).

nano is another very basic editor yet to be mentioned.

sed (stream editor) is not really an editor - a batch
editor perhaps, but then there are many Unix tools that
maps input to output, where both currencies are text

underground experts united:

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