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Open source Nettle stings other terminal emulators

Published: 14th Sep 2001, 14:58:09 | Permalink | Printable

Put away that Doc Leaf, this is a Nettle that will take you places. Plus it runs Lynx. Updated 17 Sept!

If this doesn't work, they're going to take my thumbs!

I'm currently posting this article using Peter Naulls' unix port, Lynx (which now features SSL). Lynx requires Nettle to run, which is a terminal emulator and telnet client for RISC OS. For normal people like me, that means it allows you to connect and send commands to another computer over a network. Nettle also also runs programs that are designed to work on a terminal. In the early days, terminals used to be simple computers that ran programs off a larger computer and acted as a means of displaying and sending information between the terminal user and the larger computer. In the terminal days, it was all plain text and no funky user interfaces that we're used to today. Over the years, the terminal format has grown to include coloured text and graphics; this has given way to a new breed of terminal programs such as the web browser lynx and the networked tetris game tetrinet.

Nettle runs terminal programs in a it's terminal window. The terminal programs are usually stored on your harddisc. The emulation is extremely quick and smooth, development of Nettle has been very rapid with the developers working hard to produce the polished version that is pubically available. The project is open source too, which means you can download the source code to Nettle to see how it works or if you want to add anything. You might like to know that Nettle was rewritten completely in C after an initial BASIC version. Current developers are Alex Macfarlane Smith, Ian Jeffray, Joesph Heenan and Peter Naulls.

A range of terminal types are supported and a hotlist editor for regularly used commands and connections is provided.

"Nettle's aim is to be the definitive terminal emulator and telnet client
for RISC OS", Nettle developer Ian told drobe.co.uk. "...highlights include an optional line editor with history, hotlisting, multiple terminal support and URL launching. Eventually, Nettle will also contain Secure Shell (SSH) support."

Update

Today, 17 September, we've received word that a new version of Nettle (0.2010r) has been released. Bugs have been zapped and major changes include faster redraw, support for blinking characters, loading of textfiles and global clipboard support.

Nettle: nettle.sourceforge.net

Chris Williams

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