Lightweight, extensable, hotloading, VIM-compatable terminal editor written entirely in PicoLisp
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Lightweight, extensable, hotloading, VIM-compatable

VOORM is an editor born out of inspiration. It combines the philosophy of the language it is written in-- PicoLisp, and the central, core ideas useful to making a good editor. VOORM has four main goals:

  1. VOORM must be lightweight, like PicoLisp. It must have a minimal CPU and memory footprint by default. This is not just purism speaking: in order to support a large variety of plugins and be fast and usable in spite of that, VOORM as a platform must be solid and unobtrusive-- like a good foundation.
  2. VOORM must be extensable, like Emacs. All of VOORM, both internal editor functionality and the frameworks VOORM is built in, must be available to the plugins that run in it. Part of this, however, is making VOORM safe: the libraries and functionality exposed by VOORM must be powerful, but not risk crashing it.
  3. VOORM must be hotloading. VOORM must be able to run arbitrary picoLisp code in the context of the editor itself, performantly and stably. Plugins, user extentions, and scripts should be able to add to the editor and be removed from the editor without a restart.
  4. VOORM must be VIM-compatable. Leveraging the wide userbase that has both muscle-memory for and an appreciation of VIM-keybindings, VOORM must support this extremely powerful mode of operation.

All of these features are made possible by PicoLisp: for VOORM to be lightweight, we had few choices, and almost none of them had the ability to do the other points as well as picolisp did. For VOORM to be extensable, as much and more then Emacs, its exention language must be the same as it's implementation language. Without being written in a interpreted, dynamic, flexible language like PicoLisp, this would be impossible! For VOORM to be hotloading, the logic is much the same, but even more so! With PicoLisp's dynamic scoping, formal equivalency of code and data, and extreme dynamism, powerful hotloading capabilities are within our reach.


Currently, we're building a layer over top of Ncurses, specifically designed for handling a modal text editor made of many frames. It's essentially a text-focused Terminal UI DSL built to abstract out some of the handling from Ncurses. This means that as of now, any parts of the editor we are using (plus the ones that you see) are actually experimental testing rigs to take the +Frame and +VisibleFrame's text editing, input handling, and drawing capabilities out for a spin. In fact, editor.l is almost entirely temporary, although the general method setup will stay. We are also using editor.l and the +Menu class as tests for not only the +Frames but also the frame handling setup in main.l.

TL;DR: Anything you see right now is basically a UI Demo used to test the underlying library, this is nowhere near the final editor.


Two windows, just having used the mouse Two windows, editing other window One window, editing own source

Hover over screenshots to see tooltips.