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GNU Coughs Up Emacs 22 After Six Year Wait 500

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the hopefully-worth-waiting-for dept.
lisah writes "After keeping users waiting for nearly six years, Emacs 22 has been released and includes a bunch of updates and some new modes as well. In addition to support for GTK+ and a graphical interface to the GNU Debugger, 'this release includes build support for Linux on AMD64, S/390, and Tensilica Xtensa machines, FreeBSD/Alpha, Cygwin, Mac OS X, and Mac OS 9 with Carbon support. The Leim package is now part of GNU Emacs, so users will be able to get input support for Chinese, Tibetan, Vietnamese, Thai, Korean, and other languages without downloading a separate package. New translations of the Emacs tutorial are also available in Brasilian Portuguese, Bulgarian, simplified and traditional Chinese, Italian, French, and Russian.'"
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GNU Coughs Up Emacs 22 After Six Year Wait

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 04, 2007 @05:02PM (#19387961)
    Nobody cares. We're all using VI now.
    • Re:Nobody Cares. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by creimer (824291) on Monday June 04, 2007 @05:06PM (#19388021) Homepage
      My programming instructor said he had an evil boss at a government job who made him use Emacs. Horrors! I think Emacs exist to scare the new generation into using VI.
    • by SuperKendall (25149) on Monday June 04, 2007 @05:13PM (#19388107)
      But then once in a while, some among us elevated to a higher plane - the Emacs User. :-)

      Emacs 22 took six years, just to find anything Emacs 21 didn't already offer...
      • by PopeRatzo (965947) * on Monday June 04, 2007 @06:20PM (#19388913) Homepage Journal
        I've learned enough vi to get some work done, but I've never tried emacs. Is this new version any easier to figure out? The first time I had a Linux box, a knowledgeable friend set up emacs for me, but I just couldn't get it before my frustration-limit kicked in.

        I got stuck in a thunderstorm riding home from work on my bike and I'm too beat to read TFA. Is there any new reason for a Linux noob to take a second look at emacs?

        I just got my music/video Linux production machine (Ubuntu) set up and I'm high off my success getting my pro audio interface to work, so I'm willing to take on a mild Linux challenge.
        • by SuperKendall (25149) on Monday June 04, 2007 @06:59PM (#19389369)
          It would be similar...

          Really, there's nothing in Emacs to figure out - since it has a menu, you can save and so faroth using that, if you don't feel like learning the keyboard commands (whch have a huge amount of depth and are logically organized).

          You load files and the appropriate mode should be applied. You get more out of it if you learn some modal specific commands (like autoflow comments in C mode) but you can always go without them.

          The feature I still find most powerful is macro recording, if you ever decide to go in for a second look - C-x ( starts a key board macro, C-x ) ends recording, and C-x e runs the macro you last recorded.
          • by 0123456789 (467085) on Monday June 04, 2007 @07:13PM (#19389499)
            One of the improvements for v22 is in the macro handling. F3 now starts recording, F4 ends recording, and F4 again runs the last recorded macro. Easier to remember than the old shortcuts (which still work), and perhaps more useful for an Emacs novice. There's other changes to the macro handling as well; it's even sweeter than it was before.
            • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

              by joss (1346)
              Hey, do you know how to save a recorded macro and then run
              it again later - eg, if I have 3 macros I want to be able to use,
              how to I run them each at will rather than just the most recently recorded ?

              I've wanted an answer to this question for about, oh, maybe 15 years
              now, but never badly enough to wade through enough documentation to find an answer.
              • This is from Emacs 21:

                M-x name-last-kbd-macro

                to give the macro a name

                M-x insert-kbd-macro

                to insert it as Lisp code in the current buffer.
              • You can also use the functions the sibling comment suggests to create your own macro saver (I had one that saved my macros into my emacs folder in saved-macros.el).

                Also, there's an emacs extension called "better-registers". Better registers allow assignment of keyboard macros into "registers". Registers are basically variables that are assigned to keyboard keys. So you can assign a macro, string, number, or whatever into a variable associated with a key, and then perform operations on that variable (increas
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by jbolden (176878)
          Is there any new reason for a Linux noob to take a second look at emacs?

          Not as a noob. Give it a few years. There is no one who has learned emacs that regrets it.
      • by Mr. Underbridge (666784) on Monday June 04, 2007 @07:43PM (#19389859)

        Emacs 22 took six years, just to find anything Emacs 21 didn't already offer...

        Sure. Now maybe that they're done with that, they'll finish Hurd.

    • by NovaSupreme (996633) on Monday June 04, 2007 @06:09PM (#19388775)
      I've been a regular visitor to the church of Emacs and paying my weekly tribute to RMS on Sundays.

      In the beginning emacs more than delighted with built-in debugger/mail/sokoban/all-language-modes and then I learned the power of lisp. Google for 5 minutes and then you can have your own scripts built in the editor to rotate the selection, crop 20% of the text from left, tranlsate the remaining junk into Russian and then to Polish or whatever you want, power is immense! Over time my .emacs has grown to have more than 1k lines.

      But, lately I've been thinking about converting to vim family. Vim is what I like in real life - quick (way faster than emacs), not-bloated (still in MBs) and above all cool features. In retrospect, emacs seem to be developed as really bloated thing, include all, nasty to use keyboard shortcuts (although I have replaced all of them with my custom settings).. things that you expect to get on your 10GB windows vista (RMS, pls pardon me for this insane comparison).

      OTOH, vim has a taste of elegance, at least in default keyboard shortcuts.. that are rarely longer than 3-4 char. Looks like the developer really cared for what user really needed rather than stuffing everything down the throat. But, my tipping point was vim7.0's "time undo feature" -- something like you tell ":earlier 5m" and it'll take you (or rather your file) 5 minutes back in time. I'm sure I can do same thing in emacs after spending 2 hours on google and adding 10 more lines to .emacs but the joy is not there.

      So, here I am in middle of my biggest decision of my life - should I continue emacs, where I am a power user or should I join enemy's camp.

      PS: emacs users, pls dont kill me.. I have not YET switched and still visit emacs church. Vim user, you dont kill me either for I am your potential convert. Thanks!
      • by alienmole (15522) on Monday June 04, 2007 @06:28PM (#19389007)

        PS: emacs users, pls dont kill me.. I have not YET switched and still visit emacs church. Vim user, you dont kill me either for I am your potential convert. Thanks!
        Too late - to paraphrase Agent Smith, you're already dead. If you decide to switch, emacs users will kill you. If you don't decide to switch, vi users will kill you. One of your lives had a future, but for some reason, you opened your mouth and picked the one that does not. Goodbye, Mr. NovaSupreme.
      • by poor_boi (548340) on Monday June 04, 2007 @07:58PM (#19389999)
        I love vim. vi is ok. vim is great.

        vim is an editor that can be used as an ide. Emacs is an ide that can be used as an editor.

        I can honestly recommend vim for use on every platform it supports, which is pretty much all of them, including amiga.

        The only warning I would give is: bring patience with you. vi and vim do not become powerful until you become proficient at the keyboard commands, the modal system, and the command line commands. vim has a menuing system, but if you are a menu-only type of guy, why subject yourself to a new set of menus?

        If you do not love and believe in vi's modal editing enough to learn it, use another editor.

        pb
      • by massysett (910130) on Monday June 04, 2007 @10:02PM (#19391249) Homepage
        In retrospect, emacs seem to be developed as really bloated thing, include all, nasty to use keyboard shortcuts (although I have replaced all of them with my custom settings).. things that you expect to get on your 10GB windows vista (RMS, pls pardon me for this insane comparison).

        OTOH, vim has a taste of elegance, at least in default keyboard shortcuts


        That is interesting because I see things in the opposite way.

        I have been using vim pretty much since I started using Linux a few years ago. My use is limited to some elementary programming (see sig) some long XML documents, config file editing and, more recently, email in Mutt. I'd say my Vim knowledge is pretty elementary, and I am learning new things all the time.

        When I first used Linux, I wanted to learn Emacs. Vi has a reputation of being mean and unfriendly. But something about Emacs just wasn't clicking with me, while the Vim tutorial was easy to follow. The commands were cryptic at first, but I soon realized how quickly I could get around a file with them, even with just rudimentary knowledge.

        Every so often I take another look at Emacs. Most recently it was because shells seem to work better with Emacs key bindings (they usually have vi bindings, but I don't find they work as well at the command line.) I figured that if I was going to learn Emacs bindings, I might as well take another look at Emacs.

        My most recent impression of Emacs is that the basics of the editor are much more well-designed and integrated than Vim. Vim is descended from Vi, which is descended from Ex, which comes from Ed...so there is a lot of editor history and cruft and weirdness in there. Recently I've been digging through the Ex and Ed manpages, which helps me understand Vim better. But yikes, that old line-editor history is still deeply in Vim, and it is very apt to say that the the visual part of Vim is "bolted on" to Ex.

        Emacs on the other hand does not seem to have this crazy history. It seems to do many things smoothly that were later added to Vim, such as editing multiple buffers. Basic functionality like searching is easier to understand--Vim's distinction between "magic" and "nomagic", for example, took awhile for me to understand (of course, it exists in part due to compatibility with the ancient regular expressions found in Ed.)

        In short, the core of Emacs seems to me to be designed, while the core of Vim seems haphazard and bolted together like a historical crazy quilt.

        However, where this changes is with more advanced functionality. Features such as folding and (more recently) spell checking are built in to Vim. Emacs can do these things, sure. But you have to rely on modes. Good luck finding modes and then, if you find them, good luck documenting them. Furthermore, it often seems that doing something more advanced with Emacs requires learning Emacs Lisp, where the functionality will be built-in to Vim. I don't want to have to learn to program my editor just so I can smoothly edit a file.

        So, the core of Emacs seems to me to be better designed, while when it comes to more advanced functionality, Vim wins. So Vim is harder to learn, but easier to use and grow with once you get the hang of it.

        A couple of final notes. Vim's documentation is much better than Emacs. Bram has done a fantastic job by writing two manuals--the user guide, to get you started, and the reference manual to exhaustively explain everything. Emacs has only one manual. Further, Bram has documented all of Vim, including the advanced functionality. Since the advanced stuff is not built in to Emacs--it uses modes instead--good luck getting good documentation to go along with advanced Emacs usage.

        Also, some people compare Emacs and vi. That is an easy contest--Emacs wins hands down. I installed nvi just to see what it would be like, and the lack of documentation alone makes it very hard to use. Thus emacs versus vi is a bogus comparison. Vim is the standard bearer now.

        Just my $.02; I hope an Emacs user offers a refutation.
        • Emacs comes with fine tutorial, available from the help menu, or via C-h t. It comes with a complete online reference manual. A tutorial introduction to elisp, aimed at getting non-programmers up to speed wrt customizing their Emacs. And there's a two-volume set for anyone interested in serious programming in elisp. And O'Reilly has a good manual as well, if you want to pay for it.

          And you definitely don't have to learn elisp to use the advanced features of Emacs. You have access to a very rich suite of ed

    • by joe_bruin (266648) on Monday June 04, 2007 @06:55PM (#19389329) Homepage Journal
      Great, where can I download a boot disk?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 04, 2007 @05:04PM (#19387985)
    Use the unicode2 branch from emacs CVS, not this release. Hopefully emacs 23 won't take as long as emacs 22. 8-(

  • Don't forget (Score:5, Insightful)

    by SnowZero (92219) on Monday June 04, 2007 @05:05PM (#19387997)
    Release early, release often. Don't end up like Emacs.
  • Coughs up? (Score:2, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Well, that certainly explains things...
  • by king-manic (409855) on Monday June 04, 2007 @05:06PM (#19388009)
    Did they finally add the "write my code for me" command? It seems to be one of the few things emacs hasn't implemented. I suppose a "materialize a 5'4 asian Girl Friend" command would be useful too. I think we should push for that in the next revision.
    • by Mattintosh (758112) on Monday June 04, 2007 @05:08PM (#19388035)
      I suppose a "materialize a 5'4 asian Girl Friend" command would be useful too. I think we should push for that in the next revision.

      Once that's implemented, the whole vi vs. Emacs thing is over.

      Hot asian girlfriend FTW!
      • by SanityInAnarchy (655584) <ninja@slaphack.com> on Monday June 04, 2007 @06:09PM (#19388767) Journal
        Emacs asian girlfriend will cook, clean, balance your checkbook, do your taxes, and never, ever complain... but she weighs 300 lbs.

        Vi asian girlfriend just stands there looking pretty, but if you thought you were going to get anything done, you're sadly mistaken. It'll take you a week to figure out how to get that dress off...

        Vim asian girlfriend will do anything you ask, as soon as you learn the language. Fortunately, most of us know words like "Bukakke" already, and it doesn't take much.
        • by dstar (34869) on Monday June 04, 2007 @09:20PM (#19390913)
          MS Word asian girlfriend is actually nouveau riche white trash with tens of thousands of dollars worth of cosmetic surgery, but she's already done the entire city and she's got a collection of diseases that would make the CDC jealous.
          • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

            MS Word asian girlfriend is actually nouveau riche white trash with tens of thousands of dollars worth of cosmetic surgery, but she's already done the entire city and she's got a collection of diseases that would make the CDC jealous.
            Brittany Spears?
    • by ikeleib (125180)

      Did they finally add the "write my code for me" command? It seems to be one of the few things emacs hasn't implemented. I suppose a "materialize a 5'4 asian Girl Friend" command would be useful too. I think we should push for that in the next revision.

      It's all in there, you just don't know the right modeline.

    • by ajanp (1083247)
      On June 2nd, 2007 at 12:14:00PM, Emacs became self-aware...
  • Or even better, does it run linux?
  • Y'know... (Score:5, Funny)

    by Colin Smith (2679) on Monday June 04, 2007 @05:11PM (#19388075)
    Some day it's going to achieve sentience... Don't say I didn't warn you.

     
    • by Malc (1751)
      M-x doctor
      M-x psychoanalyze-pinhead

      Try them...
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by cybereal (621599)
      Based on the way it is blindly worshipped, I would have to guess it long ago passed sentience and arose to the level of Deity.
  • And it takes about as long for GNU to release a new version as it takes Microsoft to release Vista.

    But who shed more features before going gold?
  • by Alioth (221270) <no@spam> on Monday June 04, 2007 @05:12PM (#19388105) Journal
    Does it still (E)ventually (M)alloc (A)ll (C)ore (S)torage?

    Or is it just now Eight Hundred Megs And Constantly Swapping? :-)
    • Or is it just now Eight Hundred Megs And Constantly Swapping? :-)

      Actually it's now eighty meg and that's the reason for the long delay: They had to put in a whole plumbers' supply of kitchen sinks to get from 8 meg to 80.
  • by nizo (81281) * on Monday June 04, 2007 @05:14PM (#19388117) Homepage Journal
    As a long time vi user I can say this is the best thing that has been coughed up since the hairball my cat expelled last week.


    On the upside, matching our carpet to the color of the catfood has turned out to be a brilliant strategy so far.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by nizo (81281) *
      ...this is the best thing that has been coughed up since the hairball my cat expelled last week....


      So I take it whoever modded me as flamebait thinks this isn't the best thing that has been coughed up since the hairball incident? Will the persecution of emacs never end?????

  • Number One (Score:4, Funny)

    by MulluskO (305219) on Monday June 04, 2007 @05:20PM (#19388207) Journal
    So easy to use, no wonder it's number one!
  • by frinkillo (761377) on Monday June 04, 2007 @05:21PM (#19388217) Homepage
    ...a good editor?

    /me ducks
  • by Chineseyes (691744) on Monday June 04, 2007 @05:25PM (#19388249)
    For those of you who have been holding your breath you may now exhale.
  • by rossz (67331) <ogre@nospAm.geekbiker.net> on Monday June 04, 2007 @05:25PM (#19388251) Homepage Journal
    'nuff said
  • by paugq (443696)
    Gtk for the debugger GUI!? No wonder this version took them so long!
  • I don't know what I'd do without emacs on my Beige G3 tower
  • And it's really just the sources that are out; there's precious few binaries out there.

    Can we post binary torrents in this thread? I want OS X, preferably Universal, but Intel-only will do.

  • The only OS X builds I have seen are still based on the 6 y/o version. Anyone know of an OS X build that stays current?

    I just started a build on an Intel Tiger system with "./configure --sysconfdir=/etc --prefix=/usr --enable-carbon-app" and all seems OK so far, though I have never built emacs on OS X before and I am not sure if this is the way to build emacs on OS X.
    • Re:Any OS X builds? (Score:5, Informative)

      by Zaurus (674150) on Monday June 04, 2007 @06:14PM (#19388829)
      Someone on a slashdot post or blog somewhere posted instructions on how to build and install carbon emacs from CVS. I've used it on my PowerBook, and two MacBook Pro's (Core Duo, then Core 2 Duo) with great success.

      Here's the instructions I saved:

      mkdir ~/tmp
      cd ~/tmp
      cvs -z3 -d:pserver:anonymous@cvs.sv.gnu.org:/sources/emacs co emacs
      cd emacs ./configure --enable-carbon-app
      make bootstrap
      make
      sudo make install

      Then I put the following in my .bashrc so that I can easily launch it from the command-line. The best part is that when you launch it in the background with a file argument, emacs grabs focus when it comes up. The emacs that requires Apple's X11 would never come to the front on launch.

      alias emacs="/Applications/Emacs.app/Contents/MacOS/Emac s -g 110x40 --no-splash"

      (you may want to adjust the columns and width from 110 and 40 to your own preference)

      NOTE: I haven't tried this since 22 was officially released.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Lachryma (949694)
        Even easier:

        cd emacs/mac
        ./make-package --self-contained

        Makes a .dmg which includes an installer. Self-contained means all the support files end up in the Emacs.app directory, so nothing is installed in /usr.

  • UNIX Philosophy (Score:3, Interesting)

    by nbritton (823086) on Monday June 04, 2007 @05:49PM (#19388549)
    Is it just me or does emacs go completely against the grains of *nix philosophy? i.e. simple, modular, parsimony, etc. The emacs base distribution is 126 megabytes, larger then the FreeBSD operating system... How did emacs get to be like this?
    • Re:UNIX Philosophy (Score:5, Informative)

      by TheRaven64 (641858) on Monday June 04, 2007 @06:17PM (#19388877) Journal
      EMACS was never based on the UNIX philosophy. EMACS comes from the Lisp Machines philosophy. In many ways, it is an attempt to re-create the old Lisp Machines.

      If you want an editor like EMACS that follows the UNIX philosophy, take a look at mg, from the OpenBSD team (now runs pretty much anywhere). Most people who use EMACS, however, would feel horribly lost on something like mg, since it's the non-UNIX-like nature of it that is its strength.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by reynaert (264437)
        A few historical notes:

        1. Emacs predates the Lisp machines, it was originally developed for the MIT mainframes (in TECO, with TECO as an extension language). GNU Emacs has its origins mostly in Multics Emacs, a port to a different mainframe/OS, both the first Emacs implemented in Lisp and the first Emacs extended using Lisp (also the only standard Multics program using Lisp :). The influence of actual Lisp Machine Emacsen on GNU Emacs is rather limited (remember that Stallman wasn't a big fan of the commerc
  • by toadlife (301863) on Monday June 04, 2007 @05:52PM (#19388601) Journal
    ...using a front-end loader to put out the cat.
  • by mobby_6kl (668092) on Monday June 04, 2007 @05:53PM (#19388607)
    This must be the third horseman. Let's just hope the unimaginable doesn't happen, and GNU doesn't puke out Hurd. That would mean the end of us all.

  • But I _still_ can't get GRUB to load it...I _still_ have to use this useless 'linux thingy' to invoke it!

    Won't someone please help me with replacing my Symbolics machine?
  • by Qbertino (265505) on Monday June 04, 2007 @07:51PM (#19389943)
    The Website, RMSes Passport Portrait, Emacs itself, ... just looking at it makes it appear beyond bizar. As if I had taken some extremely mind altering substance. I couldn't describe the experience to someone who hasn't had it himself.
    Emacs may once have been an extremely powerfull tool and the best possible thing for a remote tty command line mainframe uplink some 25 years ago. I nearly started learning it back in 1996. But all this nowadays and with a stance that is way far out even by slashdot standards ... heavens crickey.
    How about calling it quits? Donald Knuth stopped TeX when it was finished. And it actually still is a usable tool today. Then again, Donald Knuth is a normal, respected developer, not some strange fringe-dimension entity :-) .
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Oswald (235719)
      Er, Donald Knuth is a genius and all, and possibly the most respected man in programming, but normal? I don't think so. How eccentric is it to write all your programs (including your magnum opus) in essay/book form? Very eccentric. How odd to continue into the 21st century writing the definitive text(s) on computer science using your own made up assembly language? Pretty odd.

      Would we all be better off if we learned things his way? Possibly so. But we don't and we're not going to, and I'm afraid that

  • by russotto (537200) on Monday June 04, 2007 @08:16PM (#19390217) Journal
    So how many DVDs does this thing take up?
  • by ChaosDiscord (4913) * on Monday June 04, 2007 @11:19PM (#19391891) Homepage Journal

    Are Emacs and Vi even worth learning for the next generation? I say this as a fan of Vim who uses it for all his text editing; and many of my coworkers are Vim or Emacs fans. Both are exceptionally powerful tools. But neither program is especially user friendly, and other editors and IDE seem to be catching up in terms of power. It's perfectly possible to achieve mastery and speed in more user friendly tools as well. (I know a guy who uses Visual Studio's editor with the fluidity I normally only see in Vim or Emacs users, almost never removing his fingers from the keyboard. He works almost entirely on muscle memory so his editor is almost a direct extension of his thoughts.)

    Much though I love Vim and look forward to new releases, as I expect the Emacs fans do, I suspect our favorite editors are going to be increasingly marginalized. I can't in good faith suggest that younger programmers spend the time to learn either one. (Excepting of course people working on Unix, where you should know enough pure-Vi to muddle along in a worst case scenario.)

    • I think it depends a lot on how many systems you use, both now and in the future, and also your rate of learning.

      If I'm a new Java programmer I'll probably get more out of Eclipse than vi or Emacs; if I'm using Windows I might get more out of Visual Studio than vi or Emacs. But that's just in the short term. In the long term, the language and operating system might change, but the need to work on text files is likely to still be there. If I'm using multiple languages or OSes now, or if I expect that I'll be using different languages or OSes in the future, it means I'm likely to change IDEs. Each time I change, I'm learning from scratch. This means I don't get more than a decade of becoming an expert with one editor; instead I learn the most common tasks but not the advanced features.

      With vi(m) or Emacs, I get something that's not optimized (specialized) for one environment, but instead something that's general-purpose and adapts to many different systems, and I can carry what I learn from one system to the next. I've been using vi and Emacs on Solaris, OS/2, Linux, Windows, Mac, with C, Scheme, C++, Java, Ruby, Python, Perl, SML, and many other languages. I could've used Visual Age on OS/2, but most of what I learned would not have been that useful when I switched to Eclipse on Linux, and most of that would not be useful when I switched to Visual Studio on Windows, and most of that would not be useful when I switched to XCode on Mac. Instead, I'm using a tool that's less optimal for my current needs, but it's something that I can keep using for other needs.

      It extends beyond programming to my editing of text files, email, messages for newsgroups, HTML, my diary, my calendar, blogs, XML, config files, etc. Do you use Visual Studio for editing your blog, or do you use a different editor? Do you use yet a different editor for HTML? For email? I think it's a reasonable way to go but I find that I only use the simplest editing functions when I use lots of editors, because I can't count on features being available as I switch from one context to another.

      It's a tradeoff, and I don't know for sure whether it's better to be a novice with specialized tools or an expert with a single general-purpose tool. I'd consider vi(m) and/or Emacs if you're editing a whole lot and expect to be editing on many different systems, languages, etc. I'd stick to IDEs if you're using one system a lot and don't expect to switch often, or if you don't edit enough that there's any benefit to learning vi(m) or Emacs.

  • by Billly Gates (198444) on Tuesday June 05, 2007 @12:41AM (#19392359) Journal
    Who can live without that! [sourceforge.net].

fortune: cpu time/usefulness ratio too high -- core dumped.

Working...