In this section we explain and contrast some of the terms
ne uses. Understanding these distinctions will go a long way
towards making the rest of this manual make sense.
A file is a group of bytes stored on disk. This may seem rather
obvious, but the important distinction here is that
ne does not
edit files; it edits documents.
A document is what
ne calls one of the “text thingies”
that you can edit. It is a sequence of lines of text in the computer’s
memory—not on disk.2
Documents can be created, edited, saved in
files, loaded from files, discarded, et cetera. When a
document is loaded from or saved to a file, it remains
associated with that file by name until the document is
either closed or saved to a different file. Interactions between
documents and files are handled by the commands under the
‘File’ menu. The ‘Documents’ menu commands only deal with
documents. See Menus.
ne holds its documents in buffers. A
buffer is a chunk of memory in which
ne holds something.
For example, each document is held in its own buffer, as are any loaded
or recorded macros, undo records, a copy of your last deleted line of
text, a copy of all your previous responses to long input, and several
Actually, it can be in a region of the disk
used to simulate a larger memory.
ne will switch to such a simulation whenever
the computer’s memory is not sufficient for editing a file. This means, in particular,
that out-of-memory errors can be caused by insufficient disk space, too.