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Chapter 1: Introduction

ne is a full screen text editor for UN*X (or, more precisely, for POSIX: see Motivations and Design) and for the Amiga. I came to the decision of writing such an editor after getting completely sick of vi, both from a feature and user interface point of view. I needed an editor that I could use through a telnet connection or a phone line, and that wouldn't fire off a full-blown LITHP[1] operating system just to do some editing.

The first versions of ne were created on an Amiga 3000T, using the port of the curses library by Simon John Raybould. After switching to the lower-level terminfo library, the development continued under UN*X. Finally, I ported terminfo to the Amiga, thus making again possible to develop on that platform. For ne 1.0, an effort has been made in order to provide a terminfo emulation using GNU's termcap.

The main inspiration for this work came from Martin Taillefer's TurboText for the Amiga, which is the best editor I ever saw, on any computer.

The design goal of ne was to write an editor easy to use at first sight, powerful, and completely configurable. Running on any terminal that vi could handle was also a basic issue, because there is no use in getting accustomed to a new tool if you cannot use it when you really need it. Finally, sparing resource usage was considered essential. ne currently runs only on UN*X terminals, but a future release will provide an X interface.

Of course, the Amiga user will find ne much less attractive. There are several excellent editors for the Amiga, and ne lacks many powerful features the users are now accustomed to. However, for very special usages, such as editing through a serial terminal connected to the AUX: device, ne is the only choice, since it runs in any CLI (even in remote ones). Of course, a correct installation of aterminfo (the Amiga terminfo clone) is a basic requirement. See Some Notes for the Amiga User.

A concise overview of the main features follows:

[1] This otherwise unremarkable language is distinguished by the absence of an `s' in its character set; users must substitute `th'. LITHP is said to be useful in protheththing lithtth.

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