"Barnaby needed four months to code Wordstar on his IMSAI PCS 80/30 computer. This was done in assembler for Intel 8080 from scratch (according to Rubenstein Barnaby was the mad genius of assembly language coding), as Barnaby wrote 137000 lines of bullet-proof assembly language code. Only some 10-percent of Wordmaster code was used."
Edit: IEEE Annals of the History of Computing 28(4):32-47 · November 2006 -> The Origins of Word Processing Software: 1976−1985 has an interesting section on Wordstar . https://www.researchgate.net/publication/3331079_The_Origins...
When I finally develop observable dementia among the last things to go will be WordStar keymappings, they were laid down so thoroughly in my long-ago teenage brain, along with the somewhat different Wordmaster mappings.
I don't remember when Micropro moved to Sausalito, but recall it was near the end of Wordstar's reign.
We had a phrase that described the value of the piracy of Wordstar. The "Wordstar Effect" held that the primacy of a file format was a huge boost to revenue even if you only captured 5% of paying customers.
So when G RR Martin was taking so long to write Winds of Winter, I thought I would just hack a copy myself. And by "hack", I mean I would write it.
I had a good sense of the characters, and I knew what I wanted to happen so I started writing.
It came out utter rubbish.
Wondering why, I realizes I was using Google Docs whereas George Martin used Wordstar.
This is all coming together.
And "B" plus "p" makes a passable ß (well, in a different font).
By the way, with regard to other comments here about diehard users, I never had more than a passing relationship with WordPerfect 5.1, but I've heard of people who stayed with it for years and years (and years). For them, it was and remained the perfect writing tool.
And the manual systems on the BSDs and on Linux operating systems still use TeleType Model 37 overstriking semantics for boldface and underlining, even though (for starters) GNU grotty has been capable of the more modern (from 1976!) system of specifying character attributes on terminals for decades.
Secondly, it consumed an outrageous amount of the screen to show the list of available commands, which was a design 'thing' at the time: p-code UCSD OS did this too, and if you had enough brain cells left from the life of beer at university it felt like this was tractable screen space being eaten in ways you'd rather have back.
So as an EMACS/Vi person, it didn't make sense: watching other people be phenomenally productive in it, was a bit of an "oh, ok.. that makes total sense now" moment.
The CP/M DOS crossover years, when this predominated were quite interesting. It was also a time of variable speed floppy drives, so they "sang" at you as they chuntered around the disk surface (constant linear velocity sectors == variable radial speed)
Maybe others were smarter. I think I excelled at being super-dumb about what I was seeing.
The shrunk-header bar, was fine. Actually, a pane of 'what can I do' is now a "thing" Google does, in its web apps. It reminds me of what wartstar was doing!
Personally I was more a Brief guy in my DOS days.
The along came WordPerfect and made Wordstar look like UX bliss... For the life of me I can't recall which maniac thought up Shift-F7 (IIRC) as the 'Quit' key for WordPerfect.
WP had unbeatable table of contents, footnotes and index generation at the time - far better than Wordstar, and Word.
In my opinion it was miles ahead of Wordstar and a bit similar to what is now HTML tags.
The macro language of wordperfect 5.1 did let me add auto-correction for common typos.
And some other things like: if typing a comma after a space, move the comma to be before the space, and the same for dots.
I'm sure wordstar was nice, but for me it was just not as powerful.
JOE 4.6 was released just this year.
- Emacs/VIM + Markdown + Latex + Pandoc
- VScode/Atom + Markdown + Latex + Pandoc
Also IIRC, you could work with folding and chapters very fast in Wordstar. This is also a benefit vs Word, which is WYSIWYG drivel^H^H^H^H^H^H driven.
Emacs/VIM, well... I live and die by Emacs (vim before) but seriously, it's a huge kludge, all of it. I love it to pieces, but it's really a very complex beast. Only bested by Eclipse in beastliness, which is also great for similar reasons Emacs is. You can do anything with both, if you put in a big effort. But it still pays off.
VSCode/Atom, only dabbled with these, they seem like Emacs + shiny to me. I respect shiny, but personally, I don't need it.
Lyx - tried it a bit. I think the problem for me, was that it promised too much. But if there are problems, you still need to know LaTex and I found myself back in Emacs and googling for LaTex error.
Wordstar/Wordtsar - for me those things are for writing books or large documentation. Personally I'd still use Emacs, because I use it for so much else. I'd still FOMO a little bit about the road not taken, but we have to use the time we wisely.
(Also, Wordstar = warm fuzzy thoughts about CP/M machines with amber monochrome monitors.)
It's hard to state advantages WordStar has over modern editors. Maybe looking at it in a historical context helps.
User friendly: WordStar was for non-technical users. "User friendly" was frequently abused in industry marketing. The implication of user hostility was real. You often had to assemble your computer from a kit. I don't mean plug in an SSD and a graphics card. I mean solder chips onto a board and cross your fingers. A non-techie could use WordStar out of the box.
Power users: Newbies dedicated 1/3 of screen space to an interactive command list. Power users used all screen space for text.
WYSIWYG: Editing and formatting were traditionally separate programs. Competitors sorta kinda integrated them. WordStar seamlessly combined them for the best WYSIWYG that display hardware allowed.
Flow: If there is a genuine advantage, this is it. WordStar was for professional touch typists, like secretaries and writers, paid to bang out words all day. But keyboards were simpler, typically 50-60 keys. WordStar used only Shift and Control as meta keys and laid out its keyboard commands intuitively. WordStar let you stay in the flow to get to your final draft quickly.
Adaptable: Computer, printer, and communication hardware rivaled the Cambrian explosion in variety and incompatibility. WordStar worked predictably on serial terminals, dedicated displays, and daisywheel and dot matrix printers, serial or parallel, one floppy or two.
Ecosystem: MicroPro and third parties supported WordStar with many add-on applications for spelling, mail merge, and so on. Yes, spell checking was an extra.
Nostalgia: WordStar pushed the envelope in its day. Comparing it to today's editors and word processors, WordStar is quaint. But maybe since then we've forgotten some important reasons about why we use computers. WordTsar might be a good reminder.
And comfortably because the Control key was on almost all keyboards above the left shift key. Wish it had stayed there.
Copying and formatting floppies!
Everything else wasn't that big deal as desktop user.
Congradulations! Very nice work
Why do you use a four-component version number?
Undecided, but the source isn’t available yet according to that page.
Not that it stands a chance of being a daily driver for me. I appreciate the effort put into it, but it is way rough.
Modification, distribution, making it part of another larger work -- you need a license for those.
People, even lawyers, often use reductio ad absurdum to argue that some behavior isn't infringing. In a famous draft opinion in the Sony v. Betamax Justice Stevens wrote,
It would plainly be unconstitutional to prohibit a person
from singing a copyrighted song in the shower or jotting
down a copyrighted poem he hears on the radio.
Usually the absurdity of the scope of copyright law is tolerable because of the impossibility of a plaintiff discovering or proving infringement in personal, private use. Other times courts may use Fair Use or other technicalities to avoid absurd outcomes. But many times the absurdity lies and people are penalized. In any event, courts aren't disposed to finding non-infringement. Modern courts have narrowed considerably traditional theories like merger and the idea/expression dichotomy that circumscribed the scope of copyright outright. And it's non partisan. If Ginsburg had her way copyright would see a considerable expansion in scope. (Her daughter is the author of an influential treatise on copyright, which propounds a radically expansive view of copyrights.)
 I forgot where I read the historical account about all the other justices disagreeing on that specific point. I think it was in one of my treatises.
Noticed that the domain name ends in a '.' - is this intentionally or a typo? Works fine with or without.
Does DNS simply ignore a trailing '.'?
Just checking here with "google.com." and indeed it does! Google will rewrite the URL to omit the trailing '.' but other sites apparently do not. "irishtimes.com." for example.
Also tangentially, do you do your smiley backwards (like I do) so that Outlook doesn't rewrite them on you?
I used WordStar briefly at school on (ancient, even then) MS-DOS 2 computers donated by a petrol station whose POS software was burned into the screens. I didn't think much of it - I'd already seen newer software.
I'm sure if they felt like it they could assert their IP rights over any clones or similarly named products.
The trademark is dead. That's naming.
Patents? Seems unlikely.
That leaves copyright. It seems unlikely that anyone working on a Wordstar clone is silly enough to have even glanced at the original source, so that's not it.
Look-and-feel? Dead issues. And there's no API to copy, not that I believe an API is copyrightable as it is a functional spec. The United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit can bite me.
For some reason the webpage keeps scrolling itself vertically. That’s not a useful feature of a web page IMHO. :(
Also, 'Tsar' is a term that was also used outside of Russia (Bulgaria, Serbia) — never mind that the last Russian 'Tsar' died over a century ago; 1721 even if you follow the Russian naming convention!
On that note we maybe should change the name of the game of Bridge.
If so I would like to change the meaning of playing a trump card at the same time.
Politics are important. Please let us not trivialize them by such non-issues. The etymology of the words goes much much deeper.
"The one who only takes joking for joke and seriously only seriously, he and she have actually taken both of them badly"
I don't get it—what's the relationship?
Maybe too contrived.
But I did not think the blatant xenophobia in the OP should stand unopposed.
Especially for a word which already to a high degree has been assimilated into (US) English.
But when I need to explain the joke I must admit defeat :-)
Pretending the USA isn't the main aggressor is delusional.