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The Hessling Editor

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The Hessling Editor
Twin session
Twin session
Original author(s)Mark Hessling
Initial releaseAugust 1992; 29 years ago (1992-08)
Stable release
3.2 / January 2006; 15 years ago (2006-01)
Preview release
3.3RC7 / September 2019; 2 years ago (2019-09)
Written inC, REXX
    Operating systemUnix, Windows, OS/2
    TypeText editor
    LicenseGPL v2

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    The Hessling Editor (THE) is an open source text editor first released in August 1992. For more than ten years it has been written and maintained by Mark Hessling, who along with being the original author of THE is also a maintainer of Regina, an open source REXX interpreter that has been ported to most Unix platforms. At the 1993 REXX conference in La Jolla, California, Hessling discussed why he created a new text editor.[1]

    THE is a text editor that is a derivation of the IBM Mainframe editor XEDIT that includes support for versions of the REXX scripting language.[2]


    According to its developers, THE is a text editor modeled on the VM/CMS editor XEDIT, adding the "best features of Mansfield Software's Kedit."[3][4]

    Significant feature include:

    • Provision of both a GUI interface along with a command line interface, and the ability to edit a text file using either one or both
    • Availability of folding which can be controlled in various sophisticated ways (keyword based, indent based, etc.)
    • The use of REXX as macro language

    Folding is controlled by the "all" command. It permits one to display and work on only those lines in a file that contain a given pattern. For example, the command: all /string/ will display only the lines that include "string"; any global changes one makes on this slice (for example replace string command) will be reflected in the file. (In most cases this is a more convenient way to make global changes in the file.) In order to restore visibility of all lines one needs to enter: all (without a target string).[5]

    Similar to XEDIT, THE uses IBMs REXX as its macro language, which makes THE highly configurable and versatile. This provides the ability to create powerful extensions to the editor and/or customize it to specialized needs. For example, one can create edit commands that would allows one to manipulate columns of text (e.g. copy/move or insert/delete a column of text within a file). With REXX, one can also integrate OS commands or external functions into an edit session. Since version 3.0, THE also has user-configurable syntax highlighting.

    While THE and XEDIT are not GUI editors, THE has its own syntax highlighting language definition .tld file format comparable with KEDIT's .kld format.[6]

    THE is one of the family of IBM Text Editors.[7]

    THE is free software, distributed under the terms of the GNU General Public License. It is available for many operating systems: most or all POSIX Unix platforms (as a program for text-mode or native X11); QNX, OS/2, DOS, BeOS, Amiga, Windows 95/98/Me/NT/2000/XP.

    See also[edit]

    Other articles of the topic Free and open-source software : Shampoo (software), Logisim, Rialto Toolkit, KLayout, Hush, YugabyteDB, EJBCA
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    • PDCurses


    1. Mark Hessling (May 18, 1993). "Announcement of THE - The Hessling Editor" (PDF). Stanford University: 94. Retrieved October 30, 2020.
    2. von Hagen, William (2009). Ubuntu 8.10 Linux Bible. Indianapolis and Canada: Wiley Inc. p. 603. ISBN 9780470294208. OCLC 957298546. Search this book on Amazon.com Logo.png
    3. Stutz, Michael (2004). The Linux cookbook : tips and techniques for everyday use. San Francisco: No Starch Press. p. 270. ISBN 1593270313. Search this book on Amazon.com Logo.png
    4. "The Hessling Editor". Retrieved 2014-06-29.
    5. Nikolai Bezroukov (March 2019). "Eastern Orthodox Editors (XEDIT/KEDIT/THE, etc.)". Softpanorama. Softpanorama Society. Retrieved November 1, 2020.
    6. "THE Language Definition for ANSI Rexx". kedit.the. Budapest University of Technology and Economics - Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Informatics. 2004-04-18. Retrieved 2015-02-27.
    7. http://texteditors.org/cgi-bin/wiki.pl?IbmEditorFamily TextEditors Wiki

    External links[edit]

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