Friday, March 25, 2022 [Tweets] [Favorites]

macOS 12.3 Removed the nano Text Editor

Siguza:

macOS 12.3 replaces nano with pico.

Via Saagar Jha:

Unbelievable. I thought my eyes were playing tricks on me when I was setting up a Mac yesterday but this is just unacceptable.

[…]

macOS, where you can get the cheap knock-off version of every command line tool that Linux ships with

Like some of the other breaking changes in macOS 12.3, I wonder why this was deemed important enough to do in a point release.

Rachel Kroll:

I’ve been using this script on Linux boxes and Macs alike for a long time, and it just broke on the Macs. I now get a complaint about “E” and “T” not being valid arguments, and then it spits out “possible starting arguments for pico editor”. Wait, what?

[…]

macOS before 12.3 had pico as a symlink pointing to nano.

macOS 12.3 has nano as a symlink… pointing to pico!

[…]

It wouldn’t surprise me if this switch is just more of Apple removing GPLed things from their OS - pico seems to use the Apache license. They dumped bash for zsh (MIT license) at some point (Big Sur, I think), and now this?

Previously:

11 Comments

Why does Apple keep insisting on making breaking changes to the OS in a point release? I thought they would wait until macOS 13.0 to remove Python. How naive I was. macOS 12.3 has turned into a support nightmare because of the amount of stuff it unexpectedly broke.

Yes indeed, on Macs, as of 12.3, pico is in fact back.

As someone still miffed that pico was removed (was the symlink to nano not there originally, perhaps? Maybe I was just disappointed the title was nano), this is a satisfactory replacement for “those who cannot spell :wq”. 😉

But GPL apps are an issue now? I missed that boat.

Shitty move, but unsurprising. Guess I'll have to install nano as well as bash with every fresh MacPorts install--something I was just due to do, in fact, and configure with nano, so this would have become painfully obvious to me as well in due course too. GPL is cancer, etc. Nano is a serviceable editor in 2022 and continues to be updated to make it useful; pico is a cute relic. Even when I was using alpine, I'd configure it to use nano. Of course, technically nano is the cheap knockoff here ...

For what it’s worth, bash hasn’t been removed; it’s just no longer the default.

Like some of the other breaking changes in macOS 12.3, I wonder why this was deemed important enough to do in a point release.

Spacing out the little breakages over the year makes the big annual breakages look smaller.

But GPL apps are an issue now? I missed that boat.

They've been an issue since GPLv3, by design.

And here I’ve been using pico for 20 years, barely realizing that it was acutally nano for the past 10+ years.

Sébastien LeBlanc

Ok i understand, but what's wrong with the switch from bash to zsh. Zsh is much better, especially with oh-my-zsh

Jeff Flowers

"macOS, where you can get the cheap knock-off version of every command line tool that Linux ships with"

That statement strikes me as funny since Nano was originally created aa a clone of Pico.

@Andrew True. But if you're going to install a package manager, it just makes sense to update the extremely-out-of-date versions of software (bash, rsync, and now nano among others).

@Sébastien I actually used to be a (t)csh devotee and it took a long time to get the memo and move to bash, which I did very reluctantly. Although zsh is similarly very "exciting", bash is just boring and conservative enough for me to actually like it nowadays. I use "dash" when I need something that's much more POSIXly upright, and you'll notice that that's now in macOS as well and you can make /bin/sh link to it via /var/select/sh for your shell scripts.

Ghost Quartz

I love the implication in a follow-up tweet that an ancient version of nano is the Porsche of text-editors. I am disappointed that Apple is making breaking changes in a point release, but, also, lol.

> As someone still miffed that pico was removed (was the symlink to nano not there originally, perhaps?

I vaguely remember early Mac OS X shipping only with pico, then ca. 10.3 nano getting added, then eventually pico symlinking to nano.

A bit disappointing that Apple doesn't use Alpine's patches, and/or that nobody has forked pico.

(And, yep, unclear why Apple insists on making breaking changes like these in minor updates.)

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