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The Caucus Editor


Caucus provides a built-in "line-oriented" text editor, called the Caucus editor. This particular editor is not very sophisticated, but it does provide a common editor for all computer systems which run Caucus. ("Line-oriented" means that you type commands to insert, edit, or delete individual lines of text.)

The Caucus editor is your default editor unless you select another using the SET command (see Chapter 9). If you already are familiar with another text editor on your system, you may use it instead of the Caucus text editor.

Most versions of Caucus for Unix also include a simple full-screen editor called "CREDIT". If you do not already have a favorite text editor, please try CREDIT ("SET EDITOR CREDIT") in preference to the built-in Caucus editor.

The three most common ways to use a text editor are:

The preceding chapters in this guide provide more detailed explanations of how you can edit your conference and message text. Remember that you may edit only your own text. (Only the conference organizer can edit anyone's items or responses.)

The rest of this chapter describes the built-in Caucus editor. This editor is line-oriented with each line of your text numbered sequentially. To refer to a line of text, you must use its line number. The Caucus editor prompts you with a colon (:) when it is ready for your commands. The following paragraphs describe these commands and their format and assume you are already within the Caucus text editor at the prompt.


SHOW lets you look at the text of the response, item, or message which you are editing. The line numbers are displayed in front of the text of each line, so that you can identify each line when you use other editing commands.

The format of the command is:

SHOW firstlinenumber lastlinenumber

where the firstlinenumber is the number of the first line to be displayed and the lastlinenumber is the number of the last line to be displayed. For example, typing SHOW 6 20 displays lines 6 through 20 of the text being edited. The line numbers appear at the beginning of each line.

If you want to display all of the lines in your text, specify the firstlinenumber and lastlinenumber that includes all of the lines that exist. You can enter an extremely high lastlinenumber to ensure you have displayed all of your text. For example

SHOW 1 1000

displays all of your text if you have fewer than 1000 lines. If you have only six lines, you would see only six lines. You can use this idea with the other commands in this chapter, too.


The DELETE command is used to remove one or more lines from the text being edited. The format of the command is:

DELETE firstlinenumber lastlinenumber

This deletes all of the lines between the firstlinenumber and the lastlinenumber, inclusive. If you only want to delete one line, do not type a lastlinenumber.

Some examples of the DELETE command are:

DELETE 5 delete line number 5

DELETE 1 1000 delete all of the text

DELETE 9 1000 delete all lines after line 8

Note that deleted text cannot be recovered. When you delete a line or lines, the remaining text is renumbered automatically. That is, if you have five lines of text, and delete line number 3, you will have four lines of text remaining, numbered 1 through 4.


To add new lines to the text you are editing, use the ADD command. The format of the ADD command is:

ADD firstlinenumber

The Caucus editor prompts you for your new text with a "?" prompt. Enter text just as you normally would. When you are finished, type a dot (period) at the start of a new line. The Caucus editor inserts your new text immediately following the line you indicated as your firstlinenumber.

To add lines at the beginning of your text, use 0 as the firstlinenumber. To append lines at the end of your text, use a firstlinenumber greater than or equal to the line number of the last line in the text. A high number like 1000 works fine.

Note that when you add new lines of text, all of the lines are renumbered. For example, if you have three lines of text and add two more lines after line 1, you then have five lines of text numbered 1 through 5. The old line number 2 has become line number 4.

The Caucus editor can hold a maximum of 5000 lines (about 90 pages) of text. If your text has reached this limit, Caucus does not allow you to ADD more lines until you delete some old lines.


If you want to find a particular word or sequence of letters in your text, you can use the Caucus editor SEARCH command. The SEARCH command format is:

SEARCH firstlinenumber lastlinenumber

Caucus looks through the lines firstlinenumber to lastlinenumber, inclusive. If you do not type a lastlinenumber, Caucus looks from firstlinenumber through to the end of the text. If you type SEARCH without any line numbers, Caucus looks from the line you saw most recently through to the end of the text.

When you type the SEARCH command, Caucus prompts you for the word or sequence of letters to search. This is called a string. The prompt is:

Search String:

Type the word or sequence of letters you want to search for and press <RETURN>. Caucus searches the selected lines for the first occurrence of the string, displays the line, and displays the ":" prompt for further commands.


If you want to change a particular word or sequence of letters in your text to something else, use the CHANGE command. The format of the CHANGE command is:

CHANGE firstlinenumber lastlinenumber

The CHANGE command is similar to the SEARCH command except that when it finds what it is looking for, it replaces it with whatever new string you specify.

Like SEARCH, if you do not type a lastlinenumber, Caucus searches from firstlinenumber through to the end of your text for the word or letters to be changed. If you just type CHANGE, Caucus searches from the last line you saw through to the end of your text.

When you type the CHANGE command, Caucus prompts you with:

Old String:

You should type the word or sequence of letters to be replaced and press <RETURN>. Caucus then prompts you for the replacement word or letters with:

New String:

Type the word or sequence of letters you want to replace the old word with, and press <RETURN>.

Caucus searches the selected lines for the first occurrence of the old word, replaces it with the new word, displays the changed line, and then returns to the ":" prompt.


The HELP command can be issued at any ":" prompt. When you type HELP, Caucus displays a brief description of all the editing commands. You can do this as often as you need to while you are editing. When you are through reviewing , Caucus returns you to the ":" prompt.

The command is exactly like the SHOW command except line numbers are not shown. Use the LIST command to see what your edited text looks like before you leave the editor.


To finish editing, type the STOP command at any ":" prompt. Caucus returns to whatever you were doing just before you used the editor.

If you were in the middle of entering text, when you type STOP Caucus prompts you with ">" and continues to let you enter text.

If you chose EDIT in response to the prompt

EDIT, DELETE, REPLACE, <RETURN> for previous, or ? for options

when you type , Caucus goes on to the next prompt in your process.

If you were editing an item, when you type STOP Caucus asks you to confirm that you really want to make these changes. This is helpful if you want to think further before making any substantial changes to an item.

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Last modified: March 1997