Why the Minimum Profit Text Editor is not part of Debian

Ángel Ortega

Yesterday I received three different emails asking me why the Minimum Profit text editor is not included in the Debian linux distribution, a question most probably arised due to the recent release of Debian 10. One of the messages even mentioned that it was called mped there, so he must be a very long time user. Anyway, this is a briefing I gave to a user many years ago (2011):

"And regarding linux distrubutions, I know for sure that it's at least part of Gentoo, Puppy Linux and there is even a *BSD port. It also used to be part of Debian, but I had very bad luck there: someone picked it up and became its maintainer, for later forgetting about it and not following version updates. It happened that when the first stable distribution that became UTF-8-enabled by default (don't remember what was its name, maybe sarge), "Upstream" MP was already at its 5.x version, but Debian got still a 3.x, which had the very nasty habit of destroying UTF-8 files. I posted an RC bug regarding this, but it went released anyway, probably mangling every user file that tried it and most probably losing users. Later, the maintainer was considered as Missing-in-action and the package orphaned; another time later the QA equipment took control and updated it to the latest 5.x version, what made me happy for a time; but just on the verge of the release of current stable version the package was deleted with the message "few users; alternatives exist" and disappeared from their database. This last version is still what got migrated to Ubuntu, where it still exists, but probably unmaintained and forgotten."

Those "latest stable versions" of Minimum Profit and Debian I talked about in that paragraph were the ones back on 2011 (whichever they were). MP is no longer on Ubuntu and I don't know nor care if Gentoo or Puppy Linux even still exist (they were popular distributions those days).

Anyway, the Minimum Profit text editor is alive and well and having periodic updates. It's public domain software and can be built from source code for virtually any platform. Portable (i.e. no installation needed) binaries exist for MS Windows (32 or 64 bits, GUI or console versions). It's probably better that the text editor you are using right now.

I also think that few users, alternatives exist is a reason can be given for the deletion of most of us.

MP: Not only for text-editing but also for pipe-turning.

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