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This is Joe's Own Editor. See the INFO file if you don't know what this is.
hg clone ssh://email@example.com/hgroot/joe-editor/joe-editor
hg clone http://joe-editor.hg.sourceforge.net:8000/hgroot/joe-editor/joe-editor
You can downlaod sources of the JOE editor by various ways. One of them is
CVS. You have to have cvs package installed to properly access the CVS
server. CVS package can be downloaded from http://www.cvshome.org/.
Downloading of joe sources via CVS can be done by issuing following command:
cvs -d :pserver:firstname.lastname@example.org:/cvsroot/joe-editor co joe-current
To reduce bandwidth and needless updates, the CVS repository does not
contain automatically-generated files, even when those files are normally
present in the distribution tarballs.
Therefore, if you're building from the CVS sources, you'll need to have GNU
autoconf and GNU automake installed on your machine (these do the afore
mentioned automatic generation). These packages are available from
<ftp://ftp.gnu.org/pub/gnu/<package>/> and its mirrors (please choose one
close to you), listed at <http://www.gnu.org/order/ftp.html>.
!!! Important note !!!
Versions of autoconf and automake used by maintainers and confirmed to do
the right thing are:
automake version >= 1.8.4
autoconf version >= 2.59
Failing to use above mentioned version may cause malfunction of building
system or even malfunction of joe itself.
In case you aren't used to running autoconf manually to generate the
necessary configure script, here are necessary steps:
To create a Cygwin binary distribution, use the 'cygbuild' script.
On Ubuntu, you need to: sudo apt-get install ncurses-dev
for JOE to access the terminfo database.
JOE uses the GNU Automake and Autoconf suites to build itself.
Run configure script, type one of these:
./configure --prefix=/usr --sysconfdir=/etc
(normal system installation)
- executables in /usr/bin
- man pages in /usr/man
- configuration files in /etc/joe
(install into your home directory)
- executables in ~/bin
- man pages in ~/man
- configuration files in ~/etc/joe
(install into /local)
- executables in /usr/local/bin
- man pages in /usr/local/man
- configuration files in /usr/local/etc
For Cygwin, I've found that you need to add
"--disable-curses --disable-termcap" to the above commands.
Build JOE, type:
Optionally strip JOE of debugging information:
Install JOE, type:
su root (leave out if installing into home directory)
Delete or update user custom configuration files (otherwise new features
will not work):
rm -r ~/.joe
Try running JOE:
Note: please install xterm version 212 or higher, and use these
xterm 'configure' options:
'--enable-paste64' allows you to use JOE's '-joexterm' option (see JOERC
file), which allows mouse left and middle button cut & paste to work with
properly with JOE.
Common ./configure options
To force JOE to use /etc/termcap file using its built-in termcap file parser
(which is useful if you want to compile JOE so that it doesn't depend on any
libraries other than libc and libm):
./configure --disable-curses --disable-termcap
(--disable-termcap prevents JOE from using the termcap emulation functions
in the -ltermcap library. --disable-curses prevents JOE from using the
termcap emulation functions in the -lcurses library).
Otherwise, JOE tries to use the terminfo database via termcap
emulation routines: see man tgetent, tgetstr, tgoto, etc. (JOE has its
own implementation of "curses", so curses is not required except to get
access to the terminfo database).
Note that even if you don't have an /etc/termcap file, JOE will run: it
will assume that the terminal is "ANSI" (but you need to compile it this
way for it to be able to use the builtin ANSI termcap entry- if it's
compiled for terminfo, it can not use its built-in termcap entry).
Note for MIPS/SGI: to get a 64-bit JOE, do this:
CC=cc CFLAGS=-64 ./configure ...
Verify the installation
A number of features should be tested:
Please test the installation by trying the shell command: ^K ' A shell
prompt should appear in the window and you should be able to type "ls". If
not, two things could be broken:
JOE could not open a pseudo terminal (pty), which is unfortunately one of
the two most incompatible parts of the UNIX API. Take a look at tty.c-
there are several methods for opening the pty: mess with the "#ifdefs" until
you find a method which works (and send a bug report for your operating
The SHELL environment variable is not set or exported (Cygwin has this
or setenv SHELL /bin/bash
In you .profile or .cshrc file and send mail to the Cygwin mailing list
so that they fix this problem.
Once you have a shell window open, try to suspend JOE: ^K Z. Then resume
it: "fg". The shell window should still be active. If not, your operating
system is not handling process groups properly. Look for the setsid() or
setprgp() system calls in tty.c (this is the other most incompatible part of
the UNIX API). Currently process groups appear to be broken in Cygwin (so
if you suspend JOE, any shells get killed).
Try resizing the terminal emulator window: JOE should resize itself to
properly fit. If this doesn't work, either ttgtsz() (in tty.c) is not
reading the size properly, or the SIGWINCH signal is not being received
by JOE (the handler is winchd() in tty.c).
JOE cares about the baud rate as reported by "stty":
38400 or above: Joe does not issue scrolling commands
9600 - 19200: Joe issues scrolling commands, but does
0 - 4800: Joe defeats output buffering by sleeping
after every chunk of data is sent to the
screen, by the amount of time that the data
should take to get there as determined by
the baud rate. This allows typeahead to
interrupt the screen update process: If you
hit Page Down 100 times, only the final
contents of the screen get sent to the
terminal, otherwise you have to wait for all
100 pages to get to the screen before you
can do anything.
Sleeping should really be used at 9600 baud, but too many systems use 9600
as the default speed for terminal emulators. If you are using a real serial
link to a real terminal, you may want to adjust these thresholds: search for
"9600" in tty.c.
Ideally either terminals can keep up with the baud rate or they backpressure
the computer using hardware flow control (RTS and CTS pins on RS-232
If not, there are two options, both bad:
Use XON/XOFF (^S/^Q) flow control: this works, but ^S causes the screen to
freeze, which freaks out new users, plus ^S is the search key in "jmacs".
Use padding: the termcap database indicates how long each command should
take. If padding is enabled, JOE will send enough NUL characters after each
command to account for this time. You need set the DOPADDING environment
variable or use the -dopadding option.
You should just buy a modern terminal :-)
USAGE: joe filename [filename ...]
Optionally precede each filename with +nnn to start at specified line number.
-mid Cursor is recentered when scrolling is necessary
-marking Text between ^KB and cursor is highlighted (use with -lightoff)
-asis Characters 128 - 255 shown as-is
-force Force final newline when files are saved
-nobackups If you don't want backup files to be created
-lightoff Turn off highlighting after block copy or move
-exask ^KX always confirms file name
-beep Beep on errors and when cursor goes past extremes
-nosta Disable top-most status line
-keepup %k and %c status line escape sequences updated frequently
-pg nnn No. lines to keep for PgUp/PgDn
-csmode ^KF after a previous search does a ^L instead
-backpath path Directory to store backup files
-nonotice Disable copyright notice
-noxon Attempt to turn off ^S/^Q processing
-orphan Put extra files given on command line in orphaned buffers
instead of in windows
-dopadding Output pad characters (for when there is no tty handshaking)
-lines nnn Set no. screen lines
-baud nnn Set baud rate for terminal optimizations
-columns nnn Set no. screen columns
-help Start with help on
-skiptop nnn Don't use top nnn lines of the screen
Options before each file name:
-autoindent Auto indent
-overwrite Overtype mode
-lmargin nnn Left margin
-rmargin nnn Right margin
-tab nnn Tab width
-indentc nnn Indentation character (32 for space, 9 for tab)
-istep nnn Number of indentation columns
-french One space after '.', '?' and '!' for wordwrap
and paragraph reformat instead of two. Joe
does not change the spacing you give, but
sometimes it must put spacing in itself. This
selects how much is inserted.
-spaces TAB inserts spaces instead of tabs.
-linums Enable line numbers on each line
-rdonly File is read-only
-crlf File is uses CR-LF at ends of lines (MS-DOS files)
These options can also be set in the joerc file. The NOXON, LINES,
COLUMNS, DOPADDING and BAUD options can also be set with environment
The JOETERM environment variable can be set to override the TERM
** IMPORTANT **
The baud rate must be correctly set or either typeahead will not interrupt
the screen update and scrolling wont be used or there will be annoying
delays in the screen update. If you can't set the baud rate correctly with
'stty', give a numeric value in the environment variable 'BAUD' or to the
command line options '-baud'.
The baud rate '38400' or 'extb' means infinite to joe. Use it for X windows
and hardware console ttys. No delays will be generated and scrolling will
not be used.
The baud rate '19200' or 'exta' means that joe will use scrolling, but will
Use the LINES and COLUMNS environment variables or the -lines and -columns
command line options if you need the terminal size to be different than
whatever the termcap entry or stty reports.
Since most people use terminal emulators, JOE does not send out pad
characters. If you're using a real terminal and the padding matters, set
the environment variable DOPADDING or give the command line option
If you want joe to try to disable ^S/^Q processing, set the environment
variable NOXON or command line option -noxon.
A termcap file is included with JOE. You might consider updating your own
termcap file with the entries in it, particularly if you use ANSI/VT100ish
terminals. JOE understands some capabilities which are not usually supplied
in normal termcap (see below).
JOE prefers to use the termcap terminal capability database. It
attempts to find this file in:
$HOME/.termcap Personal .termcap in your home directory
/etc/joe/termcap Joe's termcap file
/etc/termcap Normal system termcap file
Joe copies its own termcap file to /usr/local/lib/termcap (or
wherever the system-wide joerc file is going to go) when 'make install' is
Termcap is better than terminfo because it is a more open standard.
Programs can directly access the termcap database and future versions of
terminfo may require programs to use curses. The only argument in
terminfo's favor is that it is faster than termcap. To fix this problem,
JOE will use a termcap index file if it exists and if it is up to date.
This is the procedure to make the termcap index file:
./termidx </etc/termcap >/etc/termcap.idx
The /etc/termcap.idx is a text file which you can look at if you're
JOE supports the GNU extensions to the termcap language and also
understands several new capabilities:
AL DL IC DC RI LE UP DO SF SR
Versions of the standard capabilities which accept
an argument. For example, RI with and argument of
7 should move the cursor 7 positions to the right.
Set this flag if the cursor is restricted to move
only within the scrolling regions. This is an optional
mode on vt220s and several clones assume that this
mode is always on.
Like the 'cv' capability, but the cursor goes to the
beginning of the specified line. Like 'ESC [ n H' in
"Joe does not update the screen correctly in Procomm"
"My Xenix console does not scroll correctly"
Old versions of Procomm, many other DOS comm programs and nearly every
PC-UNIX console (with the exception of Linux) does not emulate VT100s
properly. There are usually one or more problems:
1) Tabs are destructive
2) Tabs are destructive when inverse mode is set
3) Scrolling regions are not supported
4) Cursor positioning is scrolling region relative instead of
5) Some other program set the tab-stops to something other than
one tab stop every 8 columns.
6) The erase commands (ESC [ J and ESC [ K) fill with inverse
video blanks instead of plain blanks when inverse mode is set.
7) Backspace is destructive
Procomm 2.3 works fine- but make sure you have DEC VT100 selected, not 'ANSI
BBS' and also that backspace (BS) is set to 'non-destructive'. If you must
use an old version of Procomm, try using the 'ansisys' or 'nansisys' termcap
entry. Unix consoles usually do not have scrolling regions, but instead
have insert and delete line commands. The 'fansi' entry and ones derived
from it will work correctly. These termcap entries are provided in the
termcap file which came with joe. If at all possible have your sysadmin
install these entries in '/etc/termcap'. Even if your system normally uses
the terminfo database, you can copy Joe's termcap file into
"I don't have root access and can't update the system's termcap file. How
do I get only Joe to use a different termcap entry?"
"My system uses terminfo. How do I get only Joe to use a different termcap
What you should do is copy the termcap file which is provided with joe into
'.termcap' of your home directory. Now suppose you want Joe to use the
'fansi' termcap entry:
If you use csh or tcsh, place this in your .cshrc file:
setenv JOETERM fansi
If you use sh, ksh or bash, place this in your .profile file:
JOETERM=fansi; export JOETERM
"I don't have root access and can't update the system's termcap file. How
do I get all of my programs to use one of Joe's termcap entries?"
Again, copy termcap into '.termcap' in your home directory, but set the
environment variables like this:
setenv TERMCAP $HOME/.termcap
setenv TERM fansi
"My system uses terminfo... how do I get all of my programs to use one of
Joe's termcap entries?"
First, compile joe for terminfo. You then have to 'tic' the terminfo
version of joe's termcap file into your account. These are the commands for
2) mkdir .info
3) setenv TERMINFO $HOME/.info
TERMINFO=$HOME/.info; export TERMINFO
if you use bash, sh or ksh)
4) tic joe/terminfo
Then put the 'setenv TERMINFO $HOME/.info' line into your .login file or
'TERMINFO=$HOME/.info; export TERMINFO' in your .profile. Now all of your
programs should look up the 'TERM' in your own personal terminfo database.
USING JOE IN A SHELL SCRIPT
Joe used to use /dev/tty to access the terminal. This caused a problem with
idle-session killers (they would kill joe because the real tty device was
not being accessed for a long time), so now joe only uses /dev/tty if you
need to pipe a file into joe, as in: echo "hi" | joe -
If you want to use joe in a shell script which has its stdin/stdout
redirected, but you don't need to do 'joe -', you should simply redirect
joe's stdin/stdout to /dev/tty:
joe filename </dev/tty >/dev/tty