JASSPA's MicroEmacs Distribution History


MicroEmacs was originally written by Dave Conroy in late 1985 or early 1986 for private use. Various people asked Dave for a copy of the program and it was distributed without concern for copyrights or ownership as was the custom of that era. Daniel Lawrence then obtained a copy of the program and turned it into an editor for the masses, it is his work that ultimately made MicroEmacs so popular. Daniel did a tremendous amount of work, both adding features and supporting other platforms resulting in the MicroEmacs v3.8 release on which JASSPA's MicroEmacs is based.

The evolution of JASSPA's MicroEmacs starts here ...

This version of MicroEmacs is based on an early MicroEmacs release of 3.8 in 1988 by Daniel M. Lawrence, the origins of the exact source base are unknown, except to say it was delivered on a unmarked 5 1/2" floppy disk.

The program was originally ported to a Motorola MVME147 UNIX box as an alternative to vi. Reliability of the program proved to be a problem as it constantly crashed. In an attempt to rectify the problems the development of JASSPA's MicroEmacs commenced.

Development has continued from 1988 through to today, on the whole oblivious to further developments of the existing MicroEmacs program. This was due to no Internet access. It was not until 1996 the next version of MicroEmacs and mewin (Microsoft Windows (TM) port of the same program) was downloaded from the Internet and compared. By this time JASSPA's MicroEmacs was radically different and we were not about to mesh the two together - that would be a step backwards.

Development of JASSPA's MicroEmacs has been biased towards the UNIX platform, as most of the early development was performed in the UNIX domain. The first of the window servers was X-Windows, which in turn has shaped the implementation of the Microsoft Windows port. Latterly, we have seen the resurgence of the IBM-PC platform which is now commonplace. For the return port to the DOS environment, and subsequent development of the Microsoft Windows port, a UNIX like interface was required. Most existing users could not abide the primitive editors found on these machines; Microsoft Windows was an alien and hostile environment when compared with UNIX. Hence, the JASSPA's MicroEmacs interface utilizes UNIX style cut and paste across all platforms.

For portability, JASSPA's MicroEmacs utilizes character rendering on all platforms regardless of the window manager. Under X-Windows and Microsoft Windows, the display is still treated as a character based display, the subtle difference is that the display pane is re-sizable. This means that the scroll bars, fonts etc. are not as slick as they could be, certainly under Microsoft Windows JASSPA's MicroEmacs looks positively primitive!! Regardless of the look, the goal of a common editor across all working platforms has been achieved!

Release History

Date Description
September 2009 10th Major Release
September 2006 9th Major Release
May 2005 8th Major Release
March 2004 7th Major Release
December 2002 6th Major Release
January 2002 5th Major Release - First under GPL
August 2001 4th Major Release
July 2001 3rd Major Release
March 2000 2nd Release - Alpha Patch
December 1999 2nd Major Release
May 1999 Beta Release
September 1998 Minor patch to MicroEmacs '98 to correct a font problem on Windows platforms.
October 1998 1st Major Release

Development History

10th Release - September 2009

Release date specified as 2009/09/09.

User perspective summary of changes

Development history

9th Release - September 2006

Release date specified as 2006/09/09.

User perspective summary of changes

Development history

8th Release - May 2005

7th Release - Minor Patch - July 2004

7th Release - March 2004

6th Release - December 2002

Experimental Release - January 2002

5th Release - January 2002

4th Release - August 2001

3rd Release - Minor Updates July 14th 2001 onwards

3rd Release - July 2001

2nd Release - Alpha patch - March 2000

2nd Release - November 1999

2nd Release - Beta #1 - May 1999.


Minor Patch - October 1998

1st Release - September 1998









Late 1985/early 1986

Work In Progress or Planned

Development of JASSPA's MicroEmacs is an on-going process, follows is a list of work items which is currently being undertaken or planned:-