Microsoft to Create Emacs Clone?

Jan 04, 2008

Microsoft developer Douglas Purdy reports of plans to create a clone of the Emacs editor for .Net.

In his blog Purdy has published an entry saying that he and his team are looking for developers to program an application that will bring the functionality of Emacs to the .Net software platform. It is hard to say right now whether Microsoft will be using the Emacs code, or developing its own application from scratch. More specifically, Purdy is looking for a programmer with experience in the development of IDEs and text editors. The job is advertised as a full time vacancy.

Emacs is a text editor that was developed by Richard Stallman back in 1976, and which is available today in different versions for a large number of systems, including Windows. A proprietary Emacs-style editor was sold to UniPress in 1981 by Java creator James Gosling. This editor was dubbed "Gosling Emacs". The free alternative, GNU Emacs, was initiated by Stallman in 1984.

Microsoft's .Net software platform includes a runtime environment, a collection of class libraries, and matching utilities. At present, Open Source developers are working on a free version code named "Mono". The project is mainly promoted by Novell. There is also a .Net variant called "Rotor", which is available for Windows, FreeBSD and OS X, however, its licensing terms are unacceptable to many developers.

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