Version 6.0 of the GNU Nano text editor has been released

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Version 6.0 of GNU Nano was released. The slim and easy-to-use text editor for the command line is included in most Linux distributions and provides the most important editor functions including syntax highlighting and macros via keyboard shortcuts. What is unusual about version 6.0 is its code name: “Humor heeft ook zijn leuke kanten” is what it means, translated: “Humor also has its beautiful sides”. The expression goes back to the Dutch comedian Herman Finkers, who coined the sentence: “Humor heeft ook leuke kanten.”, “Humor also has beautiful sides”.

Besides the extension of the syntax highlighting by YAML, most of the changes are of a visual nature: The option --zero for example, it hides the title bar, status bar and auxiliary lines and uses all lines of the terminal as an editing area. Title and status bars can be switched on and off with MZ. In version 5.5, the title bar above could be replaced by a minibar below.

Users can now specify colors as three-digit hexadecimal numbers in the format #rgb. From the 216 index colors that most terminals can use, Nano then selects the color that comes closest to the specified values. For users who don’t like numbers, Nano has 14 new color names ready: Rosy, Beet, Plum, Sea, Sky, Slate, Teal, Sage, Brown, Ocher, Sand, Tawny, Brick and Crimson.

In addition, version 6.0 brings several changes in the standard behavior. For example, counting words with MD now works differently: With the option --wordbounds, the old default, counts nano words like the Unix command wc. Without them, the current default, the editor counts words in a more human way by treating punctuation as spaces.

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After the first five major releases took 20 years, version 6.0 only took one and a half years. GNU Nano can be set up under all Unix-like operating systems including macOS and under Windows and stands up nano-editor.org available for download under the open source license GPLv3.

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