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 A text editor for VMS using Visual 200 terminals.  

 Author:   Graham Stout, Paul McLellan?
 Family:   LineEditorFamily EdinburghFamily
 Platform: VAX VMS
 License:  Commercial

S was written to explore ergonomic interfaces without regard to runtime performance; for example it had terrible paging characteristics and used a linked list data structure rather than the buffer gap which was popular at Edinburgh Computer Science at the time. However it actually performed well enough and was an outstanding success, perhaps to the chagrin of the VMS managers who saw their CPU cycles slipping away. One feature I remember seeing for the first time in editors was that the kill-line key pushed the line's text onto a stack, and another key would pop the stack and re-insert the line elsewhere. So a block moves was a few kills followed by a few pops. Not an earth-shattering feature in 2005 but novel in 1978.

S was initially written by Graham Stout (CS3 student in 1979) and was adopted and tuned by staff member Paul McLellan?.

S was in some ways the "Anti-IE". See IE (qv). IE put every command on every available key; S offered instead a small set of more intuitive and perhaps more easily remembered commands.

The name S was in the Edinburgh tradition of single-letter commands (the command line editor ECCE was invoked by the command E on most of the Edinburgh systems)

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Last edited December 27, 2007 9:07 pm (diff)