View Full Version : What is the best editor for programmer under CP / M ?

May 19th, 2012, 05:45 AM
A simple question for you : what is the best programmer editor under CP/M ?

Currently, I use the editor of Turbo Pascal 3, but it is not very user friendly and practical with all these commands at the keyboard :(

there is not an editor with menus ?



May 19th, 2012, 08:27 AM
VEDIT had menus in the mid-80s versions and those versions did run on CP/M. I don't know if the CP/M release of VEDIT PLUS 2.33 had menus but you can (legally) download it for free from http://www.retroarchive.org/cpm/text/text.htm VEDIT has a sizable fanbase so it must do something right for some users.

May 19th, 2012, 09:21 AM
I assume that you mean CP/M-80 here, not the 16-bit versions of CP/M.

One of the most commonly-used editors for non-document text was Wordstar in non-document mode. It did the job very well. There were others--I even wrote one, but I think it's safe to say that Wordstar was most common.

May 19th, 2012, 10:10 AM
Yes I use CP/M-80 (for Z80 computer) ;)

May 19th, 2012, 11:51 AM
I've been using VDE for some time. Here's the manual:


It's freely available (legally) nowadays.

May 19th, 2012, 02:45 PM
there is not an editor with menus ?

If you are determined to do your code editing within the CP/M environment, the options for an editor are limited to plain text editors as others have indicated already - eg WordStar or VEdit.

These days, I prefer to do code development for CP/M on a Z80 simulator (I use SIMH-AltairZ80, but there are several free and excellent ones).

That way, you can use editors in the Windows or Linux environment with features such as mouse and menu controls. Then you import the edited source code into the emulator to assemble and compile. It is really much faster and more convenient.

However, I do not know of a GUI editor with 8-bit Assembler code parsing and color highlighting, as is available for 16-bit Assembler. Does such a thing exist?


May 19th, 2012, 03:19 PM
However, I do not know of a GUI editor with 8-bit Assembler code parsing and color highlighting, as is available for 16-bit Assembler. Does such a thing exist?

You have to consider the times. Color terminals were extremely rare back in CP/M's heyday--I can remember only the CompuColor/Intercolor terminals--and they were expensive.

I can't really see how an assembly parser would be worthwhile--given that assembly language processors (known as assemblers :razz: ) involve a very good macro facility, including character parsing of arguments. You can create macro structures that look nothing like assembly.

However, if you were fortunate enough to have a color terminal, you could certainly patch WordStar to emit the correct escape sequences to change color--witness WS4 for MS-DOS, which makes use of that ability. WS4 also came in a version for 8-bit CP/M-80.

May 20th, 2012, 03:24 PM
Yes - I guess my point is that while jbemond wants to edit code for CP/M-80, he doesn't have to edit his Assembler source code in a slow and limited 8-bit environment.

For 16-bit Assembler, I find the Emu8086 (http://www.emu8086.com) suite is a great development environment. It offers editing, assembling, syntax-checking (both flavors) , tracing, I/O emulating and debugging in multiple windows on high-speed contemporary platforms.

Sadly, I'm not aware of any equivalent for 8-bit Assembler, so we have to plod through edit > assemble > debug cycles time after time, with laborious annotated printouts or text windows for cross-reference.