In mourning for Nano, chap crafts 1k-loc text editor

Forked, not dead, it seems, because GNU Nano is still a thing

Ticked off by the news that Nano opted out of GNU, a programmer called Salvatore Sanfilippo has written his own text editor.

What's impressive about it is that it provides a basic code editor with syntax highlighting and search, without ncurses as a dependency, and in a mere 1,000 lines of code (at Github).

Why did he decide to spend (as he writes here) a few hours writing a new text editor?

“Just for fun, basically, because I like and admire small programs” Sanfilippo writes. It wasn't completely from scratch, since he had code from other personal projects, but it's ended up being smaller than nano.

Since we live in a world where a web browser can bring a machine more powerful than an early 1990s supercomputer completely to its knees, Vulture South salutes the effort.

Vulture South was able to load and start Kilo, which is released under the BSD 2 license, and it looks pretty much like Sanfilippo's screencast here.

The GNU maintainers, by the way, maintain that what's happened to Nano is a fork, rather than a stake through the heart. There's this statement at Hacker News.

“First, Nano has _not_ left the GNU project; GNU Nano still does and will continue to exist. The current maintainer of GNU Nano - Chris Allegretta - was hoping to add Benno Schulenberg as a co-maintainer, citing numerous contributions by him. Unfortunately, Benno refused to accept GNU's maintainership agreement, and so was not appointed. Benno also did not want to assign copyright to the FSF for his contributions.

“Instead, it seems, Benno decided to fork the project. But he did so with hostility: he updated the official GNU Nano website, rather than creating a website for the fork.

“It's early, so there's still discussion going on, but again, to be clear: GNU Nano has absolutely not left GNU.”

It seems the argument came down to licensing rules, because an idea of moving Nano to Github was incompatible with the GNU license. ®

Bootnote: This Vulture South hack has, somewhere, a copy of 80 Micro in which a ski-run game is written in a single line of Tandy Basic. Which prompts us to wonder what other wonders like Kilo might exist; we're sure commentards will have their own favourites to share. ®

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