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I am on the hunt for software options that may have gotten drowned out in my google searches by emacs, vim, and wordgrinder to use as a word processor in a Raspbian Terminal environment.

The goal has been to have a 'minimal distraction' writing environment running on a lightweight raspberry pi configured with little else. A little portable laptop that I can't easily "wander away from what I'm doing" because it never gets configured for things like checking email or browsing the web.

[And working on this project totally hasn't been used as procrastination from actually writing...]


Key Requirements:

  • Must run natively in a linux command line environment. [System will not boot into a GUI/Windowed environment.]
  • Must not rely on any closed encoding for file storage, not worried about extra markup/down added to the files, but ideally would want to be able to extract my information with a standard text editor.
  • Plays nicely with a portrait monitor.

Nice to haves:

  • Robust Spell Check with easy to configure custom dictionaries. [Different projects will draw on different technical jargon, sci-fi/fantasy, etc, and I would rather not cross pollute projects.]
  • File Switching/Grouping controls for jumping between docs and maintaining organization of 'open stuff', while being able to move the whole process into the background as a single instance.
  • Wiki-Like data organization for keeping track of notes.

Existing software opinions:

vim/emacs tends to feel like it has too much fluff in the UI to work through, or I end up tinkering with configs more than writing.

wordgrinder has a few quirks so far, with one of the biggest being lack of tab, and keeping data entry awkwardly in the 'middle' of the screen. [Which kind of negates the use of a portrait monitor when the software insists on not using much of it, given that the majority of my writing is appending to file rather than editing.]


Thanks for any leads.

  • Not sure if its lightweight enough for this, but could try Scrivener on Linux? – Adam J Limbert Jul 24 '19 at 3:35
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    I recently found out about Software recs.SE, maybe they could help? – tryin Jul 24 '19 at 5:50
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    @AdamJLimbert: That would violate the requirement of no GUI. – celtschk Jul 24 '19 at 6:18
  • Emacs has too much fluff? I...I don't know what to say to that. I used it for years, long past the time that pretty much everybody else had pretty graphics available. I read my email via telnet into a UNIX shell and only emacs would do. It meets all your requirements as far as I can tell. This is in a comment because I'm not giving you an answer...you've rejected emacs, which is your right (even if it's the best non-GUI editor ever, not that I'm biased). – Cyn says make Monica whole Jul 26 '19 at 4:13
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I personaly prefer in the command line text editor "joe". It works nicely in raspbian, and it is very easy to use. If you keep forgeting keystrokes, just remember: ctrl-k-h and help appears.

apt-get install joe
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NaNo editor

Strengths:

It handles text files.

It runs natively in Linux, and it has a prettier interface compared to vim.

It can also do spell checking after installing 'spell'.

It has a GNU licence

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