Last Updated on: 10th December 2023, 12:08 pm

Web site:
Category: Office
Subcategory: Text Editors
Platform: UNIX, Windows, Plan9
License: MIT
Interface: GUI
First release: 1980’s

Sam (short for Samantha) – a minimalist, interactive multi-file text editor intended for bitmap displays. A textual command language supplements the mouse-driven, cut-and-paste interface to make complex or repetitive editing tasks easy to specify. The language is characterized by the composition of regular expressions to describe the structure of the text being modified. The treatment of files as a database, with changes logged as atomic transactions, guides the implementation and makes a general ‘undo’ mechanism straightforward.

Sam is implemented as two processes connected by a low-bandwidth stream, one process handling the display and the other the editing algorithms. Therefore it can run with the display process in a bitmap terminal and the editor on a local host, with both processes on a bitmap-equipped host, or with the display process in the terminal and the editor in a remote host. By suppressing the display process, it can even run without a bitmap terminal.

The application is written by Rob Pike.

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