NEdit's history

The history of NEdit from version 5.1.1 on can be found at NEdit.org. Version 5.1.1 was the first release done under GPL. The reason why NEdit.org contains no information for prior versions is that Fermilab (Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory) requested so. The last release done under some Fermilab license was 5.0.2. This was also the first version I came across and used regularly.

To the best of my knowledge, NEdit was begun in 1991 as a short project to explore the Motif text widget and provide a simple editor for programmers to use at Fermilab. At that time Fermilab was beginning its migration from VAX/VMS systems to Unix systems, and one of the first stumbling blocks that physicists, and some programmers there, came up against was editing. Most VMS users used EDT or EVE, and the Unix editors were very different from these. The physicists who wanted to accomplish physics didn't like to be battling with complicated editors. So, they asked Mark Edel (a programmer) to see how quickly one could write a GUI-style editor based on the Motif text widget. (At that time Motif was the only graphical toolkit available. Motif became, and was for a long time, an industry standard. Unfortunately, it still isn't released under a free license, so GTK and QT replaced it.)

What started as a two-week experiment ended up as the primary editor the physicists and programmers at Fermilab used to write the C code for their GUI applications intended to display and evaluate experimental data. By the way, the project name, under which these GUI applications were developed, was Nirvana (for whatever reasons). I assume, since it is always hard to find names, the newly written editor was simply called Nirvana Editor, short NEdit, although writing an editor wasn't really part of the project to design physics GUI applications.

Here is the release history of NEdit up to version 5.0.2 as far as I could figure it out. (Version 5.1.1 was released in March 2000.)

Version 5.0.2 - released March 1998

New Features:

Version 5.0 - released November 1997

Version 5.0 was a significant upgrade, which added full programmability with a C-like macro language, and syntax highlighting based on regular expressions.

New Features:

Bug Fixes and Enhancements to Existing Features

Version 4.0.2 - released October 1996

New Features:

Version 4.0.1 - released April 1996

Version 4.0.1 was a bug fix and compatibility release. It also added Linux on PC compatible systems as a fully supported platform.

Version 4.0 - released February 1996

New Features:

Version 3.1 - released October 1994

New Features:

Version 3.0 - released April 1994

New Features:

Version 2.0 - released November 1993