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[Nano-devel] State of the editor / remaining feature requests

From: Chris Allegretta
Subject: [Nano-devel] State of the editor / remaining feature requests
Date: Wed, 4 Feb 2009 00:43:29 -0500


Well, in the past year+ some new stuff got done.  About this time last year the key binding code was slowly starting to get written, and just last month the code was rewritten again.  The undo/redo support is still basic and buggy, but it will eventually get better.  My current focus is on speeding up the multi-line regex highlighting code (some of which has already been committed but I have a few more improvements to make), which hopefully will be wrapped up shortly.  After 2.1.8 is released (hopefully in the next few days), my plan is to add the --quiet flag based one Mike's comments and start looking at stabilizing things so we can move toward releasing a new stable branch.

Since there is a lot of stuff in TODO which was added during David's time as maintainer, and it's not clear who asked for each item and/or how important each was deemed, I am attaching the list below.  If you're really itching to see any of these items implemented before the next stable branch is cut, please let me know.   Not making any promises, but if there are a reasonable number of things  which don't require another overhaul of the code (I'm looking at you mult-line s&r) I'll do my best to get it in. 

I also wanted to say thank you to all of you for your help in keeping nano development going, in particular for the bug reports, patches and comments.

TODO list entries:
- FriBidi support?
- Port to DJGPP?
- Make matching bracket searches sophisticated enough to skip over
  brackets inside comments?
- Allow indentation of marked text by spaces as well as tabs?
- Allow indentation to add just enough columns to reach the nearest
  multiple of tabsize, rather than always adding tabsize columns?
- Allow piping marked text to an external command and replacing it with
  the command's output (as the internal spell checker already does with
  the "spell" command)?
- Rewrite the nano FAQ in SGML.
- Allow conversion between different character sets.  Maybe use glib's
  iconv() if the system's iconv() is inadequate, since we already use
  glib's vsnprintf() if the system lacks vsnprintf()?
- Handle window resizes better.  After we resize, we should stay
  wherever we were before we resized, as Pico does.
- Fix problems with color syntaxes' highlighting lines too aggressively.
- Allow color syntaxes to apply to more than just color, so that we can
  e.g. specify a different alternate spell checker depending on which
  file type we have open.
- Allow color syntaxes to be selected based on more than just filename
  extension, e.g. through libmagic?
- Allow text searches in the help browser.
- Allow setting marks (saved positions, not to be confused with the mark
  set via Ctrl-^) at various lines and/or columns in the buffer, and
- Add the ability to move to different lines of the screen with a single
  keystroke, e.g. M-` (M-~) to go to the top line, M-& (M-7) to go to
  the center line, and M-' (M-") to go to the last line.
- Allow searching for and replacing newlines.
- Allow soft wrapping as well as hard wrapping?
- Detect when we're pasting text, so that we can handle it differently
  from normal typing?
- Make pasting text work as fast as it does in Pico.
- Fix handling of bad/incomplete UTF-8 sequences to display one Unicode
  FFFD (Replacement Character) per sequence instead of one per byte.

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