Classic programming

Rich Alderson RichA at
Mon Aug 10 16:03:17 CDT 2015

From: Noel Chiappa
Sent: Sunday, August 09, 2015 8:25 AM

> As to who actually did do EMACS, it was a cast of characters, and I wasn't
> enough part of it to know who should be listed. RMS was, of course, primus
> inter pares, but there were others. E.g. I remember Gene Cicarelli did 
> some stuff.

As I understand the history, RMS created ^R mode in TECO ("real-time
editing", for the uninitiated), and lots of people began creating TECO
init files that defined various key bindings for favored commands.  RMS
then collected everyone's init files, put the ones with consensus into
a default configuration, and published the result as EMACS.  The things
that didn't make it into the default key bindings went into libraries.

> There was this thing called IVORY which IIRC 'purified' TECO code so that it
> could be dumped out in a compressed form (for faster loading, execution, etc
> - it may have also been possible to have it read-only, and the page(s) shared
> between multiple EMACS instances, but my memory is foggy on this), and Gene
> did that.

IVORY was an alternative to PURIFY.  PURIFY stripped out comments and
white space; IVORY stripped comments, but left white space alone.  It
could also combine PURIFYed and IVORYed compressed output into a library.

(I used to have my own version of EMACS, with different key bindings for
 the kinds of things I needed to do often and functions from some of the
 other libraries built into the main library instead.  That got lost
 when I parted ways with XKL; I still miss it, years later.)


Rich Alderson
Vintage Computing Sr. Systems Engineer
Living Computer Museum
2245 1st Avenue S
Seattle, WA 98134

mailto:RichA at

More information about the cctech mailing list