Digital Homesteading on my NN

Ron K. Jeffries rjeffries at
Wed Sep 22 15:42:05 EDT 2010

Love your bare metal minimalist approach.
Remind me again why you don't write the editor
in assembly language?

Real men dream in machine code.
Ron K. Jeffries

On Wed, Sep 22, 2010 at 12:20, Allin Kahrl <osokuro at> wrote:
> Alan Post's posts have convinced me to do a quick writeup on my
> Nanonote activities.
> Teaching myself more about command shells and the Lua interpreter. I
> don't adore any existing text editor so I'm working on writing my own
> in Lua.
> As an exercise I've decided to do this from scratch, which for the
> moment means using cat and sed to make sequentially numbered
> single-line files, and then using "cat * > newfile" to "build" them
> into a usable script. (The numbered files are an idea I got from
> childhood memories of BASIC.)
> I've built a tiny shell script called which does the cat-splat
> thing and dumps a snapshot along with the numbered snippets into a new
> numbered directory. Editing without arrow keys or find/replace can be
> frustrating but is a lot less so with good backups.
> Once I get my editor to the point where it can open, edit, and save a
> text file I can stop doing this the REALLY hard way, and continue
> building the editor with itself.
> My main goal is a menu-driven interface which visually mirrors the
> structure of a more advanced set of keyed commands. I'd like the
> editor to teach beginners to be experts without any RTFM attitude, and
> without the kind of glossy processor-cycles-aren't-precious
> wastefulness that we get from most mainstream UI efforts. I'm also
> curious to see if I can accomplish all this without Lua-ncurses
> bindings, as they seem to be fairly primitive at present.
> I know that avoiding tools like libraries and other editors probably
> seems masochistic, but I really want to keep my code as sane and sleek
> as possible. By using the editor to build itself, the features I need
> assert themselves as an organic part of the process. There isn't time
> to mess around with gratuitous functionality. Having spent most of my
> career building physical objects, I also prefer this more hand-crafted
> approach for my pet project.
> The NN is a great platform on which to do this. GUI multitasking has
> made it very clear that I have trouble being productive among
> distractions. As Alan Post suggested, I can take my NN pretty much
> anywhere, which makes it much easier for me to zero in on the task at
> hand whenever a good moment presents itself. I also see NN's modest
> hardware as a big plus because it rewards good coding.
> [Allin Kahrl]
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