May 26, 2018

Simple and unobtrusive line-oriented text editor

Gate is text-gatherer. A text-gatherer is like a text-editor, but much more lightweight and unobtrusive.

If you have a program or shell script that asks people to enter a small chunk of text, a text-gatherer like Gate is a good way to do it. It doesn’t clear the screen annoying if there were just some instructions printed there. It doesn’t require you to know a lot of obscure editing commands. It doesn’t make excessive demands on the intelligence of your terminal emulation software.

It does provide a number of features that make it easier for novice users to produce good text. It does word-wrap, prints a prompt on each new line, and allows backspacing from the currently line onto previous lines. It also provides features that a more experienced user can use. You can call up normal editor, or use some of gate’s simple-minded editing commands. You can read in files, or save your text to a file. You can filter your text through something like the Unix “fmt” command. It provides a nice spell-checking interface too.

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