Old versions of Emacs

Lars Brinkhoff lars at nocrew.org
Fri Oct 21 14:51:35 CDT 2016

Chuck Guzis write:
> Starting my trek through old tape archives, I can find EMACS (all caps)
> mentioned in 1978.  (MIT labs).   Is there any earlier mention?

Yes.  Files in MIT's ITS systems documents the early EMACS history well.
For example, MC:EAK;EMACS LORE.

David Moon:
> In August 1976, a bunch of hackers decided it was time to write a new
> editor, using the sharable-library and named-commands (MM) technology
> developed by Tmacs, but intended for general use.  Tmacs was not
> really set up to be used by anyone but its maintainers, and I think
> every user had a different set of key bindings, although by that time
> it was in use by perhaps eight or ten people.  The new editor, which
> was initially called "?" because that was a command name which could
> not be typed to DDT, was supposed to take full advantage of the TV
> keyboards, to have a more sensible and consistent set of commands, to
> have good self-documentation, and to be faster than Tecmac.  ? was
> intended to woo people away from Tecmac.
> The initial work, up to the point of a semi-usable system, was done by
> GLS.  Later, RMS got interested in his indefatigible fashion, put in a
> large number of features, and made Teco changes to greatly increase
> the efficiency and flavorfulness.  The editor was renamed to Emacs
> (abbreviated E) in imitation of the name of the Stanford editor, which
> it otherwise does not resemble.

Notes: Tmacs, Tecmac, etc were several competing macro packages for
TECO.  GLS = Guy Steele.  RMS = Richard Stallman.

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