Gnu Nano releases version 6.0 of text editor, can now hide UI frippery

First five full releases took 20 years, this one arrived in 18 months

Text editor GNU Nano has reached version 6.0.

The app’s last x.0 release emerged in July 2020 and was just the fifth full version in the project’s history.

Version 6.0 debuted on December 15th and is named “Humor heeft ook zijn leuke kanten”.

The Register believes that’s a phrase often uttered by Dutch comedian Herman Finkers and translates as “Humor also has its nice sides”. We’re sure readers who don’t need to rely on machine translation will help us out with a better translation in the comments.

The project’s devs have rated the following as the most notable features.

  • Option --zero hides the title bar, status bar and help lines, and uses all rows of the terminal as editing area. The title bar and status bar can be toggled with M-Z.
  • Colors can now be specified also as three-digit hexadecimal numbers, in the format #rgb. This picks from the 216 index colors (that most terminals know) the color that is nearest to the given values.
  • For users who dislike numbers, there are fourteen new color names: rosy, beet, plum, sea, sky, slate, teal, sage, brown, ocher, sand, tawny, brick, and crimson.
  • Suspension is enabled by default, invokable with ^T^Z. The options -z, --suspendable, and 'set suspendable' are obsolete and ignored. (In case you want to be able to suspend nano with a single keystroke, you can put 'bind ^Z suspend main' in your nanorc.)
  • When automatic hard-wrapping is in effect, pasting just a few words (without a line break) will now hard-wrap the line when needed.
  • Toggling Append or Prepend clears the current filename.
  • The word count as shown by M-D is now affected by option --wordbounds; with it, nano counts words as 'wc' does; without it (the new default), words are counted in a more human way: seeing punctuation as space.
  • The YAML syntax file is now actually included in the tarball.

A full changelog can be found here and downloads are available here.

With Nano 6.0 ready for use, text editor admirers everywhere can therefore again contemplate whether their allegiance should remain with this package, if the seminal Emacs deserves their ardour or consider if the GitHub-derived Atom is worthy of attention. Maybe Windows Notepad is not entirely loathsome in its new Windows 11 livery? ®

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