GNU Zile is a text editor development kit, so that you can (relatively)
quickly develop your own ideal text editor without reinventing the wheel
for many of the common algorithms and data-structures needed to do
It comes with an example implementation of a lightweight Emacs clone,
called Zemacs. Every Emacs user should feel at home with Zemacs. Zemacs is
aimed at small footprint systems and quick editing sessions (it starts
up and shuts down instantly).
More editors implemented over the Zile frameworks are forthcoming as
the data-structures and interfaces improve: Zz an emacs inspired editor
using Lua as an extension language; Zee a minimalist non-modal editor;
Zi a lightweight vi clone; and more...
Zile is a collection of algorithms and data-structures that currently
support all basic Emacs-like editing features: it is 8-bit clean (though
Unicode support is not ready yet), and the number of editing buffers and
windows is only limited by available memoryand screen space
respectively. Registers, minibuffer completion and auto fill are
Zemacs implements a subset of Emacs with identical function and variable
names, continuing the spirit of the earlier Zile editor implemented in
can be found on the main GNU ftp server:
(via HTTP) and
(via FTP). It can also be found
on the GNU mirrors;
please use a mirror if
Like Emacs, Zemacs is self-documenting: it has built-in help on its
features. It also comes with a brief man page, obtained by
running man zemacs, and a FAQ, which can be found by
running zemacs and typing the key-sequence C-h C-F.
Zemacs' splash screen
Zemacs is a lightweight Emacs clone; even its splash screen is very
Selecting a region in Zemacs
Zemacs highlights the selected region, shown here editing some of the
zlisp source code that implements set-screen-height:
Zz Syntax Highlighting Proof-of-Concept
Zz is another editor built using Zile, here using experimental Lua
has two mailing lists:
The main discussion list is
and is used to discuss most aspects of Zile, including development and
enhancement requests, as well as bug reports.
There is a separate list for general user help and discussion,
and most other GNU software are made on
To subscribe to these or any GNU mailing lists, please send an empty
mail with a Subject: header of just subscribe to the relevant
-request list. For example, to subscribe yourself to the GNU
announcement list, you would send mail to <firstname.lastname@example.org>.
Or you can use the mailing list web
Development of Zile,
and GNU in general, is a volunteer effort, and you can contribute. For
information, please read How to help GNU. If you'd
like to get involved, it's a good idea to join the discussion mailing
list (see above).
For development sources, bug and patch trackers, and other
information, please see the
Zile is currently being maintained by
Gary V. Vaughan.
Please use the mailing lists for contact.
Zile is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under
the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the Free
Software Foundation; either version 3 of the License, or (at your
option) any later version.