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Hurting for a good palmtop text editor
05-10-2018, 12:42 PM
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Hurting for a good palmtop text editor
I recently got ahold of a stack of Borland manuals, including Turbo Assembler 2.0, which I've been dabbling with on my 200LX. Naturally, I'm in need of a good MS-DOS programming text editor, but I'm having a heck of a time coming up with something that checks all the boxes.

Things I want:
  • Auto-indenting (doesn't need to be anything fancy with brace detection, just indenting new lines to match the previous line)
  • Adjustable hard tabs (if I hit the tab key, I want it to insert a 0x09 character, and display with 4-space tab stops)
  • Small memory footprint, so I can shell to DOS and run a compiler/assembler/linker
  • Reasonably good compatibility with the mid (64x18) zoom mode

I looked at a bunch yesterday, and I found some that are close. A number of small editors are listed on this page:
  • E: Not bad, but I had it crash a couple times, and block operations are limited (whole lines only). The batch file "macro" feature is nice. No hard tabs, and you can't press Tab to indent an existing line.
  • Sled: Probably what I'll go with in lieu of finding anything better, as it has a few more features than E, but still suffers from handling tabs the way I want.
  • VDE: Also very close, but doesn't seem to auto-indent properly if you're in hard-tabs mode. Quite a bit bigger memory footprint, though.
  • Freyja: Promising, but I'm not an emacs whiz. Anybody have more experience with it?
  • Terse: Includes a build formatted for the 95LX low-res text mode. Doesn't seem to auto-indent.
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Hurting for a good palmtop text editor - Dave Britten - 05-10-2018 12:42 PM

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