If you’ve ever wondered, the answer is yes, I do have a short checklist of things I like from a text-based program. And I don’t mind sharing it. A program should …
- function, which is to say, does what it promises;
- have color, which you knew was coming;
- use a full-screen interface, as opposed to just single-shot commands;
- accept flexible terminal dimensions, because tiling window managers are a reality; and
- show on-screen (or at least on-board) help, as a courtesy to get people started.
I could mention a few more but they would be minor — like relying on $EDITOR and $PAGER, not doing too much at once, allowing (at least a little) customization, using conventional tools whenever possible, and so forth.
There are some shortcuts, like using an F1 key to display the man page for the program, and I appreciate that because it ties two points together. And sometimes I’ll forgive one point if a program touches another in an amusing way. But for the most part … that’ll do, pig.
So we come to wpe, a programming environment, which includes its sister editor tool, we:
And you can probably see that this is a slam-dunk. wpe not only tackles all of the major points, but manages to throw in a few I hadn’t really thought to mention.
wpe (and we, to a lesser degree) adds:
- A built-in file manager.
- A built-in windowing system, with tiling and cascading modes.
- Built-in programming references.
- Old-school Wordstar-ish block selection for copy-and-paste functions.
- Window zooming, which is sort of like maximizing a document.
- gpm-driven mouse support.
- Syntax highlighting and compiler access (I think. Check that; it’s my weak point).
- Drop-down menus and popup dialogues.
- X-based versions for those who can’t let go. 😉
- Gobs upon gobs of other features.
It’s like someone’s been reading my mind. 😐
I know I talk big, but I still wander around the planet editing my config files with vim, just because it’s there and because I’m too much of a clod to actually make a switch.
But this is seriously pulling at my heart strings. we in particular is an easy replacement for anything I do editing-wise at the terminal, and as a bonus a lot of its features and configuration appear to mimic the almighty Midnight Commander, which I’ve mentioned here ad nauseum.
It’s a new year. It’s a good time to experiment. I think I’ll hot-wire
vim to point to
wpe for the day, and see if I notice a difference. If I’m not driven mad by 4 p.m., we’ll call it a success. 😉
Regardless of my sanity at 4:01 p.m., let’s stamp this with the gold star of K.Mandla approval: ⭐ For what little that’s worth, of course. … 🙄