edbrowse: Be afraid. Be very afraid

What would happen if you took a text editor that nobody really thought about, exposed it to massive does of gamma radiation, and cut it loose to rampage text files, your file directory, your e-mail and the Internet beyond?

Well, first thing is, you’d hear a lot of crying and whimpering in the background. That would be emacs fans openly weeping in their lukewarm chay while vi fans rubbed their temples and whined about how life isn’t fair. And edbrowse would be to blame for that.


You remember ed, of course — the surly, ungainly, tight-lipped text editor that everyone usually laughs about before dismissing as an holdover from the Unix of 30 years ago.

Well, someone got it into their head to take ed and pump it full of steroids, teach it how to navigate directory trees, how to handle e-mail and how to traverse the Internet. And the result is pure, unadulterated evil.

But in a good way. 🙄 Much of the original ed is still here, and I’d venture to guess (but I can’t be 100 percent sure) that anything ed can do, edbrowse can do too.

And now edbrowse can navigate between directories, list their contents, delete files and so forth — so you have a file management function. And it can tackle e-mail now, both reading and sending. And it can pull pages from the web and browse them. And FTP. And negotiate SSL. And open multiple sessions. And escape to a shell. And wrangle JavaScript. And safely delete files to a trash folder. And write-protect directories. And use manage “buttons” on web pages. And convert to UTF8. And play an audio buffer. And more.

Yes, this is where the wailing and gnashing of teeth come in. You can smell the fear in the air.

ed alone was easy enough to pat on the head and send to the dustbin of history, and laugh at behind its back. But this new ed, this edbrowse. …

This is a force to be reckoned with. 😯

6 thoughts on “edbrowse: Be afraid. Be very afraid

  1. Chris Brannon

    Hey, nice article!
    I’m one of the people who is working on edbrowse.
    I also happen to be an emacs fan.
    There are things you can do with emacs (and I’d guess vim) that are
    going to be harder in edbrowse, or especially, ed.
    For me, both tools have their place.
    Anyhow, thanks for the publicity!

    — Posted with edbrowse.

  2. Chris Brannon

    Thankfully, this blog isn’t hosted on Blogger.
    I’ve never been able to comment on one of those using edbrowse, but
    commenting on a WordPress blog works fine.

  3. smorrow

    “anything ed can do, edbrowse can do too. ”

    in ed you can do g/…/p or g|…|p or g:…:p, in edbrowse you absolutely must have the / form, which means if the thing you’re searching for has any slashes in it you have to backslash-escape them.

  4. Pingback: atto: Pushing the limits of practicality | Inconsolation

  5. Pingback: atto: Pushing the limits of practicality | Linux Admins

Comments are closed.