ne: A serious challenger to the throne

I got an e-mail a couple of weeks ago from Carlos, who mentioned ne as an alternative to vim or emacs.

I’m always willing to entertain a text editor, particularly if it has a chance of proving more intuitive than vim, or less obfuscated than emacs.


And ne — the nice editor, as the home page explains the name — does a fantastic job.

Front page instructions, menu-driven, quick and easy-to-read status bar, plenty of settings to customize, UTF support, one-key save-and-quit, macros, multiple document switching, word wrapping, autocompletion, hex editing, and on and on and on. Carlos was right.

You can get up and running with ne in about 20 seconds. More advanced tools like macros or multi-document editing might take another 20 seconds. No really, it is that easy.

And to guide you along your way, not only is there a man page, but also built-in help. And if you need more, there’s an online manual too.

I see a lot of what I like from jed in ne, and it may be that ne has a shot at dethroning jed as my favorite editor that I don’t use.

I’ll give it a little longer, and throw it up against jed directly before I make a decision. But from here, there’s only one small thing that ne seems to lack that jed has.

Color. 😀

4 thoughts on “ne: A serious challenger to the throne

  1. CorkyAgain

    Cool! As someone who cut his computing teeth on MS-DOS systems back in the ’80s, I have a nostalgic fondness for textmode programs that use pull-down menus. The best ones follow the CUA guidelines ( It doesn’t look like ne does.

    But I agree with you, some color would also be nice.

  2. Carlos

    Glad you like it. I would be very interested to read about your findings when you compare ne and jed more thoroughly, if you are willing to share them.

    One correction: ne does have colors! This is visible in the screenshot on its homepage… and also I can testify for it personally.

  3. Carlos

    (To clarify: It has syntax highlighting colors. I don’t know about user interface colors.)

  4. Chad

    Love ne. Wish it had a bit more color than just in syntax highlighting, nut nonetheless it’s my chosen cli text editor. Glad someone already pointed it out to you. Shame your links are broken though (take out the s)

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