Elvis Beta Version 2.0j
by Larry Ayers <email@example.com>
Copyright (c) 1996
Published in Issue of the Linux Gazette
has been working on and improving the vi-editor
clone Elvis for several years now. Many of you will be familiar with
the most recent non-beta version as it is linked to vi and ex in the
default Slackware setup.
Elvis was one of the first vi-like editors to
offer support for multiple windows and buffers, allowing transfer of cut
or copied text from one file-buffer to another. These days this feature
is taken for granted, but the original vi required cut-buffers to be saved
to a file in order to transfer text from one file to another, an awkward
procedure at best.
X-window support can be compiled into this beta. When the editor starts
up it is able to determine whether it is being invoked from an x-window
session or from a console. The appropriate interface then starts. The
x-window interface is able to make use of different fonts and colors for
italic and emphasized text; this is put to good use in the new HTML
HTML-mode in a vi editor? I realize this sounds odd, but it
works well. All of the Elvis documentation is now in HTML format,
which is well-suited for help text. The HTML mode is not a complete
implementation; external links (such as a link to an internet site)
cannot be followed, and image links can be seen but are not loaded.
Nonetheless the mode makes Elvis useful as a quick-loading html-file
previewer. Sometimes it's nice to be able to just quickly scan an html
file without the distracting presence of the formatting codes, and
without starting up a browser. Links within a document, and links to
another html file in the same directory are supported.
As is to be expected in a modern vi-style editor multiple windows
and buffers are supported. Running in an x-windows session Elvis will
start up another entire frame when a new file is loaded.
The mouse support for marking, cutting, and pasting is nicely-
The source code compiled uneventfully for me; as usual it's wise to
check over the makefiles in order to make sure that the paths are
correct. The resulting executable is named "e2", which helps keep it
separate from an existing copy of Elvis you might have. The accompanying
readme file warns of possible bugs, going so far as to state "This beta
will crash", but I've used the current version and the one
previous to it for some time now with no problems.
The only source I know of for the beta version of Elvis is
this ftp site. The filename (which may be incremented by one or
letters by the time you read this) is elvis20j.tgz.
If you are a vi user, I encourage you to give it a try; I'm sure Steve
Kirkendall would appreciate any user feedback.
Back up to the Linux Gazette!