[nSLUG] Your Editor not as good as mine

Daniel MacKay daniel at bonmot.ca
Fri Aug 14 18:13:28 ADT 2009

When we built NSTN, personal computer mail user agents were uncommon  
and webmail had not been dreamt of, so we had to give many users (on  
fox.nstn.ca) restricted shell accounts, nn for usenet news, gopher,  
and the "elm" mailer (which later morphed into mutt.)

Of course they also needed an editor, the support of which which  
presented a horrible problem.  Would you want to teach your favourite  
editor to a couple of thousand Internet neophytes?

I found the CUTEST teeny editor (the Solaris binary was only 90K!)  
called "gnome" which was almost modeless and did not require you to  
explain what META meant.  "gnome" stood for something like "this is  
not emacs."  For email type editing -- typing stuff, erasing it,  
saving it -- it was perfect.  Something like Control-X saved and quit,  
and luckily elm would let you edit again if you wanted to go back into  
it.  It did have a help screen, "repeat this command" cut/copy and  
paste and find-and-replace, but no one needs those for email.

I'd love to have the sourcecode for it again, but in the intervening  
couple decades I've misplaced it, and of course the big graphics  
package is now called by the same name so googling for it is useless.

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