GNU Zile

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Developer(s)Reuben Thomas
Initial releaseApril 2008; 12 years ago (2008-04)
Stable release
2.4.14 / October 6, 2017; 2 years ago (2017-10-06)[1]
Repository Edit this at Wikidata
Operating systemCross-platform
TypeText editor
LicenseGNU General Public License

Zile is a free software, C language toolkit for developing text editors. Zile is also a clone of the Emacs text editor built using the toolkit. Zile stands for Zile is Lossy Emacs.[2]

Originally written in C by Sandro Sigala, Zile is now maintained by Reuben Thomas.

Zile's goal was to behave like GNU Emacs using fewer resources. Zile still uses the same names as Emacs does for its functions and variables, but some of the internal data structures and API are evolving to suit a more general purpose.


Zile started out as a lightweight Emacs clone in April 2008.[3] In 2014 it began evolving into a software development framework for developing text editors.[4]

The lightweight Emacs that was Zile is now Zemacs. In the tradition of recursive acronyms, Zile stood for Zile Is Lossy Emacs. Zemacs is distinguished by a RAM Memory footprint, of approximately 100kB. It is 8-bit clean, allowing it to be used on any sort of file that doesn't require Unicode support.[5]

Zemacs' keyboard shortcuts are similar to those of Emacs. It incorporates many standard Emacs features, including:

  • Multi buffer editing with multi level undo
  • Multi window
  • Killing, yanking and registers
  • Minibuffer completion
  • Auto fill (word wrap)

Zile produced a Vi clone, Zi.

A fork of Zile became Zee, a command line editor.

Reimplementation in LuaJIT[edit]

Zile has also been reimplemented in the LuaJIT language.[6] In this case, Zile can also stand for Zile Implements Lua Editors.[4] As of March 20, 2017, the last commit to the LuaJIT implementation of Zile was made on April 2, 2011[7][8].

See also[edit]


External links[edit]