The program "Pine" has become a popular program for both Email and News. It makes use of a small and simple editor named "pico".
Pico's command set only has a dozen commands and it shows the most useful commands in the last two lines of the display:
UW PICO(tm) 3.5 New Buffer [...] ^G Get Help ^O WriteOut ^R Read File ^Y Prev Pg ^K Cut Text ^C Cur Pos ^X Exit ^J Justify ^W Where is ^V Next Pg ^U UnCut Text^T To Spell
However, the source code for Pico is closely linked to the source code of Pine; therefore you cannot download Pico on its own - you have to donwload the source of the complete newsreader to install the little editor. Worse: Although Pine is freely available you should know this:
That's why there is now an OpenSource project for a "Pico clone" - "Nano". (Think of it as "'n another editor", if you like.)
The goal of Nano is to make a small editor like Pico available under the GNU General Public Licence and to add some important commands, while keeping the design, ie "small and beautiful".
nano 0.8.1 New Buffer . ^O Write Out ^_ Goto Line ^R Read File ^Y Prev Page ^K Cut Text ^C Cur Pos ^X Exit ^\ Replace ^W Where Is ^V Next Page ^U Uncut Txt ^T To Spell
The difference to pico is subtle - no more copyright by the University of Washington ["UW ... (tm)"]. :-)
Also, the WriteOut command now is above the Exit command, so you can see both "exit commands" in one column.
The new commands are in the second column - GotoLine and Replace.
The Help command is still available with Control-G - but when you invoke it then you will see this message:
[ Help function not yet implemented, nyah! ]But as with all program which develop fast - the documentation is usually missing.
But do not despair - there's help on the command line:
set editor="nano -citxz"
$ nano -V nano version 0.8.0 by Chris AllegrettaSoon this will hopefully show both important addresses - that of the website and the email address:
$ nano -V nano 0.8.0 http://go.to/nano-editor email@example.com by Chris Allegretta
So, although "nano" is bigger than "pico" I hope that nano will both be smaller in source as well as in binary size.
date size name-version ==== ==== ============ 000110 56k nano-0.7.4 000113 56k nano-0.7.5 000116 58k nano-0.7.7 000119 60k nano-0.7.8 000123 67k nano-0.7.8 000124 68k nano-0.7.9 000125 70k nano-0.8.0 000129 72k nano-0.8.1On average each version adds 2K - so when nano-1.0.0 gets released it should be around 110k. ;-)
wget http://faculty.plattsburgh.edu/astyanax/nano/dist/nano-0.8.1.tar.gzUnpack with GNU tar:
gtar xvvzf nano-0.8.1.tar.gz.. and run the configure script and make the binary:
cd nano-0.8.1 ./configure makeThe installation is pretty fast. :-)
Now strip the binary:
guckes@linux> ls -l nano -rwx--x--x 1 guckes users 120357 Jan 31 21:31 nano guckes@linux> strip nano guckes@linux> ls -l nano -rwx--x--x 1 guckes users 38232 Jan 31 21:34 nanoOnly 38K!
guckes@linux> ls -l =pico -rwxr-xr-x 1 root root 159576 Aug 13 02:23 /usr/bin/picoYes, Pico is bigger!
And if someone asks you why people delight in nanotechnology - now you know. Enjoy Nano!
However, I am pretty sure that the news about Nano will hit the newsgroup comp.mail.pine pretty soon. I expect many users of Pine to switch to using Nano instead of Pico. Expect crossposts - so please direct followups from comp.mail.pine:
Also, an interface to "spell checking" is in the works. This needs lots of testing , of course. So all you nerds with strange language - please help checking and testing this code!
Personally, I hope that these commands will be added:
Chris Allegretta firstname.lastname@example.org Nano editor maintainer http://go.to/nano-editor or (currently) http://faculty.plattsburgh.edu/astyanax/nano/ Nano editor HomePage (run by Chris Allegretta) http://faculty.plattsburgh.edu/astyanax/nano/dist/ Nano editor distribution location (only HTTP - no FTP or FTP mirrors yet) http://faculty.plattsburgh.edu/astyanax/nano/dist/RPMS/ Nano editor RPMs http://www.math.fu-berlin.de/~guckes/pico/ Pico editor page (run by Sven Guckes) Sven Guckes email@example.com Author of this article and evangelist for text based programs such as elm, irc, lynx, mutt, nn, screen, slrn, vim, zsh. Email since 1989, Usenet since 1992. Webmaster of slrn.org, vim.org. http://www.math.fu-berlin.de/~guckes/