pEmacs or Perfect Emacs
pEmacs is a small footprint Emacs derived from Chris Baird's Ersatz Emacs which was based on MicroEMACS 3.6 as released to mod.sources and the Public Domain by Daniel Lawrence in 1986, and was itself based on the work of Steve Wilhite and George Jones to MicroEMACS 2.0 (then also public domain) by Dave Conroy. I have included a copy of the Ersatz Emacs README at the end of this file.
pEmacs came about as a response to the invitation set by Chris Baird in his original README file.
I encourage people to personalise this very simple editor to their own requirements... Feel free to do a code-fork and distribute your own perfect text editor.'
The design goals of pEmacs were threefold.
- To replace the early MicroEMACS style search with incremental search
- To add filename completion as per uemacs/PK or Mg Emacs
- To achieve further reduction in the code footprint.
As of pEmacs v1.02 all three goals have been achieved. I see pEmacs as an attempt to find the perfect balance between minimalism (ie the smallest functional emacs and code) whilst still retaining the majority feeling of Emacs.
A designer knows he has achieved perfection not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away. -- Antoine de Saint-Exupery
So far I have tested pEmacs on Ubuntu Linux but hope to follow up on Arch Linux and the Raspberry Pi Debain image at some point soon.
All code here is public domain, same as I received it.
firstname.lastname@example.org February 2013
pEmacs V1.05, 02 Mar 2013
- Added additional navigation to buffer menu Space=down, BACKSPACE=up, Enter=Select
pEmacs V1.04, 02 Mar 2013
- Fixed bug where we allowed [List] buffer to be killed
- Fixed alignment issues with listbuffers
- Added readonly flag to list buffer display
- Added buffermenu bound to ^X^B
- Moved listbuffers to ^XB
pEmacs V1.03, 21 Feb 2013
- Modified killbuffer to take current buffer as default. This is inline with Mg and Zile.
- Renamed main buffer to scratch
pEmacs V1.02, 21 Feb 2013
- Added filename completion for ^X^F and ^X^R
- Add entry in extendedcommand for the DEL key - note this may not work on all keyboards
pEmacs V1.01, 19 Feb 2013
- Stripped out: ^X^R Read file ^X^I Insert File
- Added: ^X^V View File ^X^Q Toggle Read only
pEmacs V1.0, February 2013
In an effort to reduce the code count and allow for a small number of enhancements I have removed what I never use and can easily live without. (See features removed). Esratz-Emacs is 5777 lines of code. pEmacs 1.0 is 5286, this leaves me around 300 lines to implement filename completion.
Replaced searching with incremental searching C-S, C-R. Once you have got used to incremental searching you can no longer cope with the two stage searching of MicroEMACS style editors. Control-S prompts for a search string and searches as you type it, hit Control-S in the prompt and it will search again, C-R will reverse search. Searching also overlaps once you get to the end of the buffer. ESC will exit.
Implemented M-g gotoline. A basic gotline function was present in the Ersatz-Emacs code but it was not bound to a key and did not ask the user for a line number. I find this fairly essential when editing source code following a set of compile errors.
Improved showcpos (^X=) so that it shows line number as well as buffer position.
Added --version to the command line arguments so you can see what version of pEmacs you are running. This assumes there will be at least one more version that will implement filename completion.
Other Minor Keystroke Changes: ^XN Also does next buffer ^C Added: copy-region (same as M-W) M-R query search and replace (same as M-%)
Fixed problem with mlwrite() which caused corruption when printing %s formatted strings.
Comaprisons with Other MicroEMACS Implementations
Editor Binary BinSize KLOC Files pEmacs pe 59465 5.7K 16 Esatz-Emacs ee 59050 5.7K 14 uEmacs/Pk em 147546 17.5K 34 ue3.10 uemacs 171664 52.4K 16 Mg mg 585313 16.5K 44 Zile zile 1130457 11.7K 32
Removed From Ersatz-Emacs
In an effort to reduce the code count and allow for a small number of enhancements I have removed what I never use and can easily live without.
Bind Function Reason ^X B Switch to another buffer ^XX is faster, dont have to type buffer name M-^V Scroll other window down never use M-^Z Scroll other window up never use ^X ^ Enlarge current window never use ^X N Rename file in buffer ^X^W is just as good M-Q Format paragraph rarely use ^X F Set fill column rarely use M-U UPPERCASE word luxury M-C Capitalize word luxury M-L lowercase word luxury ^T Transpose characters rarely use M-<- Delete previous word luxury M-F Forward word never use M-B Backward word never use M-D Delete next word luxury ^O Open Line never use, CR is just as good ^U Universal Argument never use M-Z Quick Exit rarely use - ^X^C is good enough ^X^R Read file strange implemention,is not a view file ^X^I Insert File rarely use, ^X^F and copy region and paste good enough
pEmacs Key Bindings
C-A Begining-of-line C-B backward-character C-C copy-region C-D delete-char C-E End-of-line C-F Forward Character C-G Abort C-H Backspace C-I Tab C-J Newline C-K Kill to eol C-L refresh display C-M Carrage Return C-N next line C-P previous line C-Q Quote Chararcter C-R Incremenal Search Reverse C-S Incremenal Search Forward C-V Page Down C-W Wipe region (Cut) C-X CTRL-X command prefix C-Y Yank M-G gotoline M-R query-replace (alias to M-%) M-V or [Page Up] Scroll up M-W Copy region to kill buffer. M-% query-replace M-< Start of file M-> End of file ^@ or M-<spacebar> Set mark at current position. ^X^C Exit. Any unsaved files will require confirmation. ^X^F Find file; read into a new buffer created from filename. ^X^V View File ^X^Q Toggle View Mode ^X^S Save current buffer to disk, using the buffer's filename as the name of ^X^W Write current buffer to disk. Type in a new filename at the prompt to ^X^B Show buffer directory in a window (^X 1 to remove). ^XK Delete a non-displayed buffer. ^XX Switch to next buffer in buffer list. ^X2 Split the current window in two ^X1 Show only current window ^XO Move cursor to next window ^X( Start recording a keyboard macro. Typing ^G or an error aborts. ^X) Stop recording macro. ^XE Execute macro. ^X= Position report; displays line number, buffer size, etc.
pEmacs Desk Card (Mar 2013)
M- means to use the <ESC> key prior to using another key ^A means to use the control key at the same time as the 'A' key
Moving the cursor
^F Forward character ^B Backward character ^N Next line ^P Previous line ^A Front of line ^E End of line M-P Front of paragraph M-N End of paragraph M-< or [HOME] Start of file M-> or [END] End of file ^V or [Page Down] Scroll down M-V or [Page Up] Scroll up Arrow keys are active
Deleting and inserting
<- Delete previous character ^D Delete next character ^K Delete to end of line
Formatting and transposing
^Q Quote next key, so that control codes may be entered into text.
^S Incremental Search forward, Esc to exit, ^G to abort, ^S search next ^R As above, but reverse search from cursor position.
M-% Replace with query. Answer with: Y replace & continue N no replacement & continue ! replace the rest ? Get a list of options . exit and return to entry point ^G,'q' or <return> exit and remain at current location
Copying and moving
^@ or M-<spacebar> Set mark at current position. ^W Delete region. M-W Copy region to kill buffer. ^Y Yank back kill buffer at cursor.
A region is defined as the area between this mark and the current cursor position. The kill buffer is the text which has been most recently deleted or copied.
Generally, the procedure for copying or moving text is:
- Mark out region using M- at the beginning and move the cursor to the end.
- Delete it (with ^W) or copy it (with M-W) into the kill buffer.
- Move the cursor to the desired location and yank it back (with ^Y).
^XB Show buffer directory in a window (^X 1 to remove). ^X^B Buffer menu ^X K Delete a non-displayed buffer. ^X X Switch to next buffer in buffer list.
A buffer contains a COPY of a document being edited, and must be saved for changes to be kept. Many buffers may be activated at once.
Diplay the buffer list in a window and operate on it using the following keys, (bound to ^X^B) Space, N,n, CTRL+N, down-arrow: move to next line Backspace, P,p, CTRL+P, up-arrow: move to prev line s: save buffer at line v: toggle read only flag k: kill buffer at line Enter, 1: select buffer at line 2: select buffer in split window below original window q,Q,x,X: exit buffer menu
Reading from disk
^X^F Find file; read into a new buffer created from filename. ^X^V Read file and set into view mode
Saving to disk
^X^S Save current buffer to disk, using the buffer's filename ^X^W Write current buffer to disk. Type in a new filename at the prompt
^X 2 Split the current window in two ^X 1 Show only current window ^X O Move cursor to next window
Many windows may be visible at once on the screen. Windows may show different parts of the same buffer, or each may display a different one.
^X^C Exit. Any unsaved files will require confirmation.
^X ( Start recording a keyboard macro. Typing ^G or an error aborts. ^X ) Stop recording macro. ^X E Execute macro.
^G Cancel current command. ^L Redraws the screen completely. ^X = Position report; displays line number, buffer size, etc.
Ersatz-Emacs Original README
This shar file contains the source to a microemacs-derived text editor that I have been personally hacking on for over a decade. Originally this was MicroEMACS 3.6 as released to mod.sources and the Public Domain by Daniel Lawrence in 1986, and was itself based on the work of Steve Wilhite and George Jones to MicroEMACS 2.0 (then also public domain) by Dave Conroy. I would like to reiterate Lawrence's thanks to them for writing such nice, well structured and documented code. "Ersatz-Emacs", as I call it today, is the above text editor throughly cleansed of routines and features that I personally never use. It is also an editor MINIX-creator Andy Tanenbaum could describe as "fitting inside a student's brain" (namely, mine). This source code should compile cleanly on any "modern" UN*X system with a termcap/curses library. This release has been tested with NetBSD and various Linux systems, although in the past when it was still mostly MicroEMACS, proto-Ersatz-Emacs was an editor of choice on SunOS, Solaris, Xenix, Minix/i386, and AIX. Supporting these and similar systems should not be difficult. I encourage people to personalise this very simple editor to their own requirements. Please send any useful bug reports and fixes back to me, but I'm not really interested in incorporating new features unless it simplifies the program further. Feel free to do a code-fork and distribute your own perfect text editor. The title "Ersatz" comes from the category Richard Stallman uses in MIT AI Memo 519a to describe those editors that are a surface-deep imitation (key bindings) of "real" ITS Emacs. If you are familiar with any Emacs-variant editor, you should have few problems with Ersatz. All source code of this program is in the Public Domain. I am a rabid Stallmanite weenie, but it would be improper to publish this under a different licence than it was given to me with. -- Chris Baird,, <email@example.com>