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A project I wish wasn't abandoned

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There are so many open source projects that have been abandoned over the years. Some were average, some were real gems. But one above all, I wish wasn't abandoned - NEdit.

Written by Mark Edel for Fermilab, it has been around since 1991. It was one of the first editors for the X Window System which had a CUA interface (Ctrl+N for New, Ctrl+O for Open etc). Both these features made it incredibly user friendly. Over the years many people who migrated from Windows or Macs to *nix ended up using NEdit, including myself. It was incredibly full of features while having none of the steep learning curve of a Vi clone or an Emacsen. Everything was menu-driven, easily discoverable but it was still programmable. Here's a list of just a few of its features:

  • Ctags support
  • C-like macro language
  • Keystroke replay
  • Calltips
  • Incremental Backups


The good part about it is that we can stop referring to it in the past tense. Everything it was, it still is. Many distributions like Debian still allow you to install and use NEdit. And even though there are a slew of competitors like Kate and gEdit, NEdit still holds its own in 2012, 7 years after its last development activity. In fact it is still my top recommendation for a GUI based "normal" editor on Linux. If I had the coding chops to bring it back to life, I would. But for now I can just hope it gets picked up again by a gifted developer(s).

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