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Last week, GNU ed, a line-oriented text editor, released GNU ed 1.15. GNU ed is used to create, display, modify and otherwise manipulate text files, both interactively and via shell scripts.

Red, a restricted version of ed, can only edit files in the current directory and cannot execute shell commands. Ed is the “standard” text editor and the original editor for Unix. For most purposes, however, it is superseded by full-screen editors such as GNU Emacs or GNU Moe.

Changes in GNU ed 1.15

  • The list command has been fixed to print a backslash before every ‘$’ character within the text.
  • Address ‘,,’ has been fixed to mean ‘$,$’ instead of ‘1,$’.
  • A ‘s’ command that is part of a ‘g’ or ‘v’ command-list can again split a line by including a newline escaped with a backslash ‘\’ in the replacement string. For this, the closing delimiter of the replacement string can’t be omitted unless the ‘s’ command is the last command in the list because otherwise, the meaning of the escaped newline would become ambiguous.
  • Due to a recent change in the POSIX standard, the ‘c’ command no longer accepts an address of 0, and the documentation for the ‘i’ command now explains that it treats address 0 as meaning “at the beginning of the buffer”, instead of as a synonym for address 1.
  • Minor fixes have been made to the manual.
  • The configure script now accepts appending options to CFLAGS using the syntax ‘CFLAGS+=OPTIONS’.

To know more about this release, visit GNU ed’s email thread.

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