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

From: James Freer
Subject: Re: editor and word processor history (was: Re: RTF for emacs)
Date: Thu, 29 May 2014 10:39:55 +0100 (BST)
User-agent: Alpine 2.10 (DEB 1266 2009-07-14)

On Thu, 29 May 2014, Emanuel Berg wrote:

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.

Wordstar may have 'died' long ago but it had the most efficient keybindings of any editor/word processor - experts tell me! Writers still use it. Word Perfect and Word replaced it as you say - they were simpler to learn.

Somehow 'oldies' like me - the WS keybindings don't leave you... even when you are over 50 and 30 years has past. As for editors there are hundreds and yet very few are suitable for prose unless they have a true wordwrap like emacs, gedit, and dare I say it an editor beginning with 'V'.

The Wordstar keybindings don't seem to fully work in emacs so I am going to learn the emacs ones.


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