Link: Actually using ed

September 10, 2016

Tom Ryder's Actually using ed (via @davecheney) is a nice little walk-through of using the Unix ed editor to, well, edit some text. I've used ed a long time ago, and this inspired me to fire it up again to follow along and play around a bit; it was surprising how much I remembered. It was also nice reading about some advanced ed features that I either didn't know about or never used enough to remember.

(As always, I find it interesting what's considered basic versus advanced in things like this. To me, address ranges like '1,10p' are a basic feature.)

I'm not sure I'll ever use ed for anything real (at least outside of a real emergency), but it's nice to know that I still remember enough to find my way around in it. It's also nice that the modern GNU version of ed has picked up a number of user-friendly features like the -p argument.

(The version of ed that I'm acclimatized to is usually called 'UofT ed', and features a bunch of modifications made here by a number of people, including Henry Spencer. Among other different behaviors from classical ed, it prompts with a '*' instead of nothing and has somewhat more friendly error messages.)

Written on 10 September 2016.
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Last modified: Sat Sep 10 20:18:45 2016
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