Re: [dev] Experimental editor

From: Martin Kühl <>
Date: Sun, 12 Jun 2011 19:55:49 +0200

On Fri, Jun 10, 2011 at 00:05, Connor Lane Smith <> wrote:
> My plan, then, is to write an editor for X, which although
> (almost-)modeless, is extremely fast to use. (I say `almost' because
> search, for instance, is a mode, but is at the users' locus of
> attention. I may also make `Escape' an optional command/insert mode
> switch.) Let me be clear, this will not be a tiny minimalist editor;
> that is already covered by ed. This will fill the same place as vi: it
> may be a little larger, but damn is it fast.

Have you considered a command-quasimode? That way you could keep
vi-style composeable commands and stay mostly modeless.

> The editor uses interactive structural regular expressions, somewhat
> like sam, only with more visual support. Say you run the command
> `x/re/'; a special `match' buffer will open containing the matching
> lines and line numbers (and in the case of X & Y, their file names
> too), allowing you to jump to those locations. You can then edit and
> run commands on these matches (including filtering) and the buffer(s)
> will be updated accordingly.

I like this idea a lot. Incidentally, that's exactly how I imagine my
ideal file manager should work, and it should work for managing windows
just as well.

> In Vi I use `f' and `F' a lot. That is, I jump within lines so I don't
> have to bother crawling with the cursor or reaching for the mouse.
> This is faster than using `/' because you don't have to press enter
> (surprisingly this has a big difference). In a similar fashion, this
> editor will (as well as normal search) have a `leap' quasimode (cf.
> Jef Raskin) which lets you search just by holding Meta, and to exit
> search mode you just release. This is faster to use, doesn't spam your
> search history, and means we can stop matching at the first match,
> whereas with full search we'd highlight all matches in the scrollbar.

Nice, just please keep leaping backwards in mind as well. I seem to
recall later Archie prototypes spliting leap into two commands for
leaping forwards and backwards (Mod+> and Mod+< respectively), both
implemented as quasimodes.

Received on Sun Jun 12 2011 - 19:55:49 CEST

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