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Acme – the text editor from Plan 9

Acme is a programmers’ text editor from the Plan 9 operating system. It was developed in the early 1990s by Rob Pike, although is now ported to FreeBSD, Linux and Mac OS X. Here’s a fascinating video tour by Russ Cox:

You’ll have to watch the video to get some of the incredibly open features of this system, but it allows the user to treat any text as a program that neatly integrates the commandline, every word in a text file can be interpreted as an instruction.  As a general purpose precursor of the stranger live coding editors (e.g. the feedback.pl Perl editor and ixilang‘s), this system is bursting with ideas that live coding environments could adopt.  In fact, I’d love to see a live performance with Acme, anyone want to try?

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