Sam (program)

From Academic Kids

Sam is a text editor originally designed at Bell Labs by Rob Pike(with the help of Ken Thompson and other Unix developers) in the early 1980s for the DMD 5620 windowing terminal running Unix.

It's inspired by the ed editor, but has a more powerful language and takes advantage of a bitmaped display and mouse chording. Windows are opened displaying various files(or parts of a file) concurrently and a special command window is used to enter commands in the sam language which can manipulate any of the open files.

Sam can also run detached from a bitmaped terminal offering a similar interface to ed but with the more advanced sam language.

Sam is the preferred text editor of many eminent computer scientist; it replaced ed as Ken Thompson's favorite text editor, and he still uses it to this day. Others, like Dennis Ritchie have moved on to use acme instead.

The debate of sam vs. acme runs deep in the Plan 9 community.

The latest incarnation of sam was written as part of the Plan 9 operating system but there are Microsoft Windows and X Window System ports available.

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