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ee — The easy editor. Archived here for posterity.
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Copyright (c) 2009, Hugh Mahon All rights reserved. Redistribution and use in source and binary forms, with or without modification, are permitted provided that the following conditions are met: * Redistributions of source code must retain the above copyright notice, this list of conditions and the following disclaimer. * Redistributions in binary form must reproduce the above copyright notice, this list of conditions and the following disclaimer in the documentation and/or other materials provided with the distribution. THIS SOFTWARE IS PROVIDED BY THE COPYRIGHT HOLDERS AND CONTRIBUTORS "AS IS" AND ANY EXPRESS OR IMPLIED WARRANTIES, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, THE IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY AND FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE ARE DISCLAIMED. IN NO EVENT SHALL THE COPYRIGHT OWNER OR CONTRIBUTORS BE LIABLE FOR ANY DIRECT, INDIRECT, INCIDENTAL, SPECIAL, EXEMPLARY, OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES (INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, PROCUREMENT OF SUBSTITUTE GOODS OR SERVICES; LOSS OF USE, DATA, OR PROFITS; OR BUSINESS INTERRUPTION) HOWEVER CAUSED AND ON ANY THEORY OF LIABILITY, WHETHER IN CONTRACT, STRICT LIABILITY, OR TORT (INCLUDING NEGLIGENCE OR OTHERWISE) ARISING IN ANY WAY OUT OF THE USE OF THIS SOFTWARE, EVEN IF ADVISED OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGE. The editor 'ee' (easy editor) is intended to be a simple, easy to use terminal-based screen oriented editor that requires no instruction to use. Its primary use would be for people who are new to computers, or who use computers only for things like e-mail. ee's simplified interface is highlighted by the use of pop-up menus which make it possible for users to carry out tasks without the need to remember commands. An information window at the top of the screen shows the user the operations available with control-keys. ee allows users to use full eight-bit characters. If the host system has the capabilities, ee can use message catalogs, which would allow users to translate the message catalog into other languages which use eight-bit characters. See the file ee.i18n.guide for more details. ee relies on the virtual memory abilities of the platform it is running on and does not have its own memory management capabilities. I am releasing ee because I hate to see new users and non-computer types get frustrated by vi, and would like to see more intuitive interfaces for basic tools (both character-based and graphical) become more pervasive. Terminal capabilities and communication speeds have evolved considerably since the time in which vi's interface was created, allowing much more intuitive interfaces to be used. Since character-based I/O won't be completely replaced by graphical user interfaces for at least a few more years, I'd like to do what I can to make using computers with less glamorous interfaces as easy to use as possible. If terminal interfaces are still used in ten years, I hope neophytes won't still be stuck with only vi. For a text editor to be easy to use requires a certain set of abilities. In order for ee to work, a terminal must have the ability to position the cursor on the screen, and should have arrow keys that send unique sequences (multiple characters, the first character is an "escape", octal code '\033'). All of this information needs to be in a database called "terminfo" (System V implementations) or "termcap" (usually used for BSD systems). In case the arrow keys do not transmit unique sequences, motion operations are mapped to control keys as well, but this at least partially defeats the purpose. The curses package is used to handle the I/O which deals with the terminal's capabilities. While ee is based on curses, I have included here the source code to new_curse, a subset of curses developed for use with ee. 'curses' often will have a defect that reduces the usefulness of the editor relying upon it. The file new_curse.c contains a subset of 'curses', a package for applications to use to handle screen output. Unfortunately, curses varies from system to system, so I developed new_curse to provide consistent behavior across systems. It works on both SystemV and BSD systems, and while it can sometimes be slower than other curses packages, it will get the information on the screen painted correctly more often than vendor supplied curses. Unless problems occur during the building of ee, it is recommended that you use new_curse rather than the curses supplied with your system. If you experience problems with data being displayed improperly, check your terminal configuration, especially if you're using a terminal emulator, and make sure that you are using the right terminfo entry before rummaging through code. Terminfo entries often contain inaccuracies, or incomplete information, or may not totally match the terminal or emulator the terminal information is being used with. Complaints that ee isn't working quite right often end up being something else (like the terminal emulator being used). Both ee and new_curse were developed using K&R C (also known as "classic C"), but it can also be compiled with ANSI C. You should be able to build ee by simply typing "make". A make file which takes into account the characteristics of your system will be created, and then ee will be built. If there are problems encountered, you will be notified about them. ee is the result of several conflicting design goals. While I know that it solves the problems of some users, I also have no doubt that some will decry its lack of more features. I will settle for knowing that ee does fulfill the needs of a minority (but still large number) of users. The goals of ee are: 1. To be so easy to use as to require no instruction. 2. To be easy to compile and, if necessary, port to new platforms by people with relatively little knowledge of C and UNIX. 3. To have a minimum number of files to be dealt with, for compile and installation. 4. To have enough functionality to be useful to a large number of people. Hugh Mahon |___| firstname.lastname@example.org | | |\ /| | \/ |