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 Mince Is Not Complete Emacs

 Author:   Mark of the Unicorn  
 Homepage: http://www.motu.com
 Family:   EmacsFamily MsDosEditors CPMEditorFamily
 Platform: CP/M 80, MS-DOS
 License:  Commercial

An Emacs clone from a company called Mark of the Unicorn.

As far as I can tell, Mince was an editor written in BDS-C. It ran on the CP/M-80 operating system and worked in conjunction with Scribble, a formatter for printed output. When the user purchased Mince, the source code came with it. Mark of the Unicorn later rewrote Mince and Scribble as PerfectWriter. MOTU no longer produces Mince. You can read about Mince at:


There is some good information on the Amethyst Users (CP/M) archives (vintage 1990) at [retroactive.org], though you'll have to scan the textfiles individually. If you check on [Google], you can find quite a bit more.

DISCUSSION: Maybe my memory is failing but I was sure that I remembered using a full Emacs implementation under BSD unix on a Vax around 1982 give or take a year - and I'm sure it was written by Mark of The Unicorn. In fact I thought of it as the definitive Emacs at the time as I remember the Stallman implementation being quite a memory pig, and this one having identical functionality in a much smaller footprint. I may be wrong, but since the author is still available maybe we could write him and ask? In fact since MOTU is now well out of the text editor business, perhaps we could persuade them to release the source code now? (for historical interest) - gtoal

Unfortunately, I don't believe they can. MINCE, combined with the SCRIBBLE text formatter they also offered for CP/M, got released for MS-DOS as Final Word, and later as Final Word II. Final Word got sold to Borland, who repackaged it as Sprint (and later killed it off.) So I don't think MOTU has the rights to the code these days. --DMcCunney

I recall MINCE as a set of TECO macros that I used on an LSI-11 running RT-11 with a VT-52 terminal in late 1978 at MIT. I also remember using MINCE on a PDP-11/45 running Unix V6 at MIT circa 1981 in an image processing lab. I can't recall whether the Unix variant was a set of TECO macros or a binary. -- SteveByan?

Well, there was the original Emacs - Editing MACroS? - a set of TECO macros running on the version of TECO implemented under ITS on the DEC machine at the MIT AI labs. (I think that machine was a DEC-10 or DEC-20, but could be wrong.) Stallman created EMACS by merging and regularizing several macro packages already in use. It became the default editor at the labs, and Stallman commented later that he realized how much it had become the standard when he no longer recalled how to perform the operations in raw TECO. Stallman's macros relied on the Control-R mode in ITS TECO which permitted interactive use. I don't believe that was present in standard TECO off a DECUS tape. There was a Video TECO package not related to Emacs that provided screen editing features on a VT52 or VT100.

This is the first time I've heard of MINCE as the name for a flavor of Emacs on a PDP-11, though it's possible. The first binary implementation I know of was Gosling Emacs, from James Gosling. It got picked up and offered as a commercial product by by CCA. (And I recall Stallman being snarky about it. Having it sold as a commercial product offended his sensibilities.) His own implementation in LISP came later. I don't know whether anyone brought TECO up under Unix v6, so you might just have been dealing with a binary. Any memory of the macro facility? Gnu Emacs is essentially a LISP interpreter with most of the editor written in the dialect of LISP it implements. Gosling Emacs has "Mocklisp". An assortment of editors have implemented the Emacs command set, but may or may not have macros or be extensible. --DMcCunney

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Last edited July 15, 2015 11:04 pm (diff)