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GNU is Not Unix

GNU Emacs 21 544

Alex writes: "After a wait worthy of the Mozilla project, GNU Emacs 21 is finally released! Image support, colour syntax highlighting on terminals, nice scrollbars and tooltips, it's all there folks. Also, for the first time in it's long illustrious history (and a step forward for GNU Project development in general) it's now available via anonymous CVS on savannah. No more waiting a year for the latest features... Now all we need is a port to GTK/GNOME...." Other submitters point out that the changelog is available through CVS (this is a serious changelog!), and you might try the mirrors, or maybe some light reading while you download.
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GNU Emacs 21

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  • by obi327 ( 458822 ) on Sunday October 21, 2001 @07:34PM (#2457617) Homepage
    Why are we hiding from the police, daddy?
    Because we use emacs son, they use vi.
  • Resources (Score:3, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 21, 2001 @07:37PM (#2457630)
    Great! Now I just need to get another hard drive to have enough space to store the binary.
    • Re:Resources (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Baki ( 72515 )
      Seriously, Emacs with it's old nickname "Eight Megabytes and Always Swapping" nowadays better might be called "Ten megabytes and never swapping", since we all have 64MB or more these days.

      Emacs once was relatively big and perceived as bloated. However through the times all others (even vim/xvim) have grown and grown, and most have surpassed Emacs. Emacs has been developed more carefully and, where the base system once was relatively big but complete, actually today is one of the smaller programs.

      Many editors are bigger, and almost any mail/newsreader, graphical ftp-client or whatever functionality Emacs includes are much bigger alone than Emacs that includes all these functionalities.

      Who would have thought that, Emacs truely has become a lean and mean program.

    • by Fly ( 18255 ) on Sunday October 21, 2001 @08:56PM (#2457866) Homepage
      The *last* thing I want is my EMACS mixed up with GNOME/Gtk. One thing I love about EMACS is its portability. It's running right now on my Windows box at home and on my Linux box at work. Making standard EMACS depend on the GNOME/Gtk libraries would just make this lovable behemoth an ungodly piece of work that would only run on GNOME.

      Thank goodness that someone did it to XEmacs, which is a better place for adding silly GNOME widgets. EMACS doesn't need widgets. All it needs is text. That's part of its beauty.

      I have no particular aversion to using GNOME except that it's nowhere near as mature as EMACS, and I would hate updating all of my graphics libraries so I could use my favorite *text* editor.
      • Let me second that emotion. Emacs runs on just about anything now, thanks to the hard work of the GNU folks.... don't spoil it! When I have to run on something that doesn't already have Emacs, I can be pretty sure right now that I can just go snarf it, or have the local god figure do so... you go make this GTK-specific, and we not only lose the Evil Empire but MacOS, VMS, AOS, and who knows what else... and the fact that while it won't run on a DECWriter II (our OTHER favorite editor [] does that :), it WILL run on a real vt100, or even an ADM-3A, about the dumbest terminal I ever came across... and while I remember it sucking wind at 1200 baud, it wasn't bad at 2400/V.42bis (about as low as you can go and still error-correct)...

        Most of my Emacsing is done in terminal mode on xterms or remote shell sessions.... I go into graphics mode when I'm doing serious programming, but I'm a sysadm by trade, and most of the time character mode is more than good enough. Adding GTK widgets is something I'm likely never to use. Waste of time, if you ask me.

        It's running right now on my Windows box at home and on my Linux box at work.
        You sure you don't have that bass-ackwards? Or are you a gamer type? :)

        I used to run Windows for werk because I had to.
        I run Linux at home because I want to.
        (Lady willing come next week I'll run Linux at work too! :)

        • you go make this GTK-specific, and we not only lose the Evil Empire but MacOS, VMS, AOS, and who knows what else...

          You have completely missed the point of the word "port." No one said anything about making it GTK-specific. :P

          IIRC, current versions of vim run on the console on almost any OS as well having an optional GUI. If that's true, there's no reason that you couldn't do the same for Emacs. The same is true of nethack as well.
  • so... (Score:3, Funny)

    by neodymium ( 411811 ) on Sunday October 21, 2001 @07:39PM (#2457641) Homepage
    ...does it finally cook coffee or fix my breakfast ?
  • by burtonator ( 70115 ) on Sunday October 21, 2001 @07:43PM (#2457659)

    I have been waiting for this to hit slashdot for a while. I have been playing with Emacs 21 for a while now. Hacking on lisp, etc. It is *very* stable. Almost all existing packages work perfectly.

    The maintainers have done an amazing job.

    This release includes a number of really cool features including:

    the ability to have dynamic fonts (IE new face implementation)

    a header line at the top of the file for additional inforation

    support for tooltips (I am working on an intellisense package)

    Resize of minibuffer windows

    A fringe to the left and right of a buffer for metainfo.

    Font colors can be used anywhere including the modeline, within completion, etc.

    Cursors are updated if Emacs is busy

    Tons more stuff. See the NEWS file in the dist for more information.

    Also. I have written a ton of Emacs extensions [] that you guys might like.

    You can also check out my Emacs bookmark [] which contain a lot of information.

    • by steveha ( 103154 ) on Sunday October 21, 2001 @11:34PM (#2458317) Homepage
      support for tooltips (I am working on an intellisense package)

      Great. Just don't call it "intellisense" because IntelliSense is a trademark that someone owns. MS had to pay money to Ademco (a burglar alarm company with "IntelliSense []" brand sensors) to get permission to use the "IntelliSense" brand.

      Not to mention that if you go to [] you will find a MEMS company there.

      Don't pull a Killustrator []! Call it something else.

  • by oGMo ( 379 ) on Sunday October 21, 2001 @07:44PM (#2457661)

    Gtk/XEmacs is available here [] if you really want gtk. Unfortunately this is based on an earlier version of XEmacs (21.1.12, current is like 22 something I believe), but it does look nifty and fit with your other gtk apps if you have any. There are a few minor caveats:

    • A few (very) minor visual bugs, most notably if you hide the toolbar, the minibuffer is too big.
    • No pseudotransparency. ;-)
    • The upgrade to 22 might outweigh the pretty visuals.

    It does look nifty, though (depending on your taste), as screenshots [] indicate.

    • An Emacs port to GTK/GNOME? Don't you mean
      it the other way around ;)
    • I've been using GTK/Xemacs exclusively for the past 6 months. It's pretty nice. Except some of my less frequently used elisp packages break randomly. And the scrollbars never seem to work (which doesn't really bother me, since i never use them anyway). But it's a small price to pay in order to get rid of the ugliness that is athena/motif I also recommend using the NeXT.XEmacs [] toolbar, as it removes the last bit of dated ugliness that xemacs has (i ditched netscape more than a year ago; why do i want anything else with an ugly toolkit running on my machine?).

    • Try configuring with --with-x-toolkit=lucid

      That way you will get all those pretty widgets

  • by Anonymous Coward
    ChangeLog []

  • by Ars-Fartsica ( 166957 ) on Sunday October 21, 2001 @07:48PM (#2457670)
    It really is time for editors to become better integrated with their environments, and even better, become components for their environments.

    Imagine the glee that would ensue if emacs became a KPart or Bonobo component. Want an editor for your new IDE? Drop in emacs. I know integrating beyond pipe support is anathema to most unix folks, but in my opinion its worth it.

    • by Speare ( 84249 ) on Sunday October 21, 2001 @08:59PM (#2457876) Homepage Journal

      Want an editor for your new IDE? Drop in emacs.

      Some IDEs and desktop managers seem to be trying that out. The problem is that Emacs general set of key bindings really isn't designed for use a widget in a dialog box, or as a component in a larger application.

      The problem is sovereignty. Emacs assumes it is sovereign; that is, that it has the full attention of the user and everything the user does has some bearing on Emacs. Keystrokes involve the Meta (or Alt) and the Ctrl keys, so it's hard to find keystrokes that obviously fall outside the Emacs sovereign domain.

      Conversely, widgets are not sovereign, they are transient and flocking. Unknown keystrokes are usually passed up to larger and larger contexts, so that it's easy to navigate from one widget to another, or to select specific widgets from afar. Accelerators in a given window manager context typically use an obvious and consistent Alt or Ctrl scheme, which precludes mixing their use between Emacs-ish widgets and the greater context of a dialog box or application window.

      Emacs is nice when you want to use it AS the IDE, but Emacs within some other IDE seems to be like fitting a baseball stadium inside a football stadium: too much confusion about overlapping sovereignty, or too much orchestration to ensure only one context is being used at a time.

      Those are just my thoughts. I use whatever editor will let me get my job done the simplest way that will possibly work. Sometimes that's Emacs, sometimes that's vi, sometimes that's a WYSIWYG Rich Text editor.

  • What's the state of UTF-8 support in GNU/Emacs 21? Does this release include UTF-8 support, or is it still in development?
    • Included and works great.
    • From the NEWS file:

      ** The new coding system `mule-utf-8' has been added.
      It provides limited support for decoding/encoding UTF-8 text. For
      details, please see the documentation string of this coding system.

      More documentation gets you this:

      The supported Emacs character sets are:

      Unicode characters out of the ranges U+0000-U+33FF and U+E200-U+FFFF
      are decoded into sequences of eight-bit-control and eight-bit-graphic
      characters to preserve their byte sequences. Emacs characters out of
      these ranges are encoded into U+FFFD.

      Note that, currently, characters in the mule-unicode charsets have no
      syntax and case information. Thus, for instance, upper- and
      lower-casing commands won't work with them.

  • Emacs? BAH! (Score:3, Funny)

    by Desus ( 253573 ) on Sunday October 21, 2001 @07:50PM (#2457679) Homepage Journal
    You kids with your overgrown editors. Someone wake me up when the new version of EDLIN is released.

  • The Emacs Zen... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by burtonator ( 70115 ) on Sunday October 21, 2001 @07:51PM (#2457681)

    A lot of people are asking the typical questions.

    IE: "Why should I use Emacs when I have a much nicer looking application that is more user friendly?"

    You should *really* spend some time on Emacs. There is an *amazing* Zen type of relationship that you start to appreciate after about 2 weeks of using it.

    You also should drop your prejudice of lisp (keep an open mind for about 2 weeks). Lisp and schema are *great* languages. I just wish Emacs Lisp were clooser to common lisp or scheme.

    The ability to quickly write a function within Emacs, evaluate it and then *use it right away* without having to restart your editor is very addictive.

    Ever need to parse or rework a file with 1000 lines? No problem. Just write a 10 line elisp script that does it for you with regexp. This took you maybe 5 minutes and saved you hours of work! yay emacs!

    Also. If learning the new key bindings is intimidating then you can just remap everything.

    So for example instead of learning some the "correct way" you can just remap..

    (global-set-key "\C-cb" 'browse-url)

    This means that everytime I hit 'C-c b' this prompts me for a URL (or tries to guess it from the current buffer) and launches mozilla for me.

    Pretty cool huh?

    Also... stick to GNU Emacs... AKA the *true* Emacs.

    • I agree with your comments on lisp being a good parser. For those who prefer perl, I say stick with Perl for non-interactive scripts. Emacs makes for a great interface for one-off LISP scripts that need interaction. I have found a niche for both.
    • Also... stick to GNU Emacs... AKA the *true* Emacs

      And, GNU EMACS is also the version of EMACS which Linus has dubbed 'evil'.
    • Re:The Emacs Zen... (Score:3, Informative)

      by BitwizeGHC ( 145393 )

      You also should drop your prejudice of lisp (keep an open mind for about 2 weeks). Lisp and schema are *great* languages. I just wish Emacs Lisp were clooser to common lisp or scheme.

      RMS has expressed on the Guile ML that he wants to replace Emacs Lisp with Guile (a robust version of Scheme) with some sort of backward-compat mode for old elisp code. Don't know when that's gonna happen, though. :(
    • Re:The Emacs Zen... (Score:3, Informative)

      by blakestah ( 91866 )
      Disclaimer: I dislike emacs.

      "Why should I use Emacs when I have a much nicer looking application that is more user friendly?"

      That depends. There are a LOT of text editors including nEdit, gedit, kedit, jed, joe, pico, [ng]vi[m]. Only emacs embeds other functionality within its own lisp code instead of providing text editing functionality to other programs using stdin and stdout - the UNIX way.

      You should *really* spend some time on Emacs. There is an *amazing* Zen type of relationship that you start to appreciate after about 2 weeks of using it.

      I used it for YEARS.

      You also should drop your prejudice of lisp (keep an open mind for about 2 weeks). Lisp and schema are *great* languages. I just wish Emacs Lisp were clooser to common lisp or scheme.
      Fair enough. As a text editor user, I don't want to write ANY code. And if I were, I would certainly prefer not to use lisp, elisp, or scheme.

      Ever need to parse or rework a file with 1000 lines? No problem. Just write a 10 line elisp script that does it for you with regexp. This took you maybe 5 minutes and saved you hours of work! yay emacs!
      This is classic emacs mentality. If you just LEARN the emacs way, you can use emacs for everything. Well, I bet if you can do it in 10 lines with elisp I can do it in one in the shell with small utilities like sed, awk, grep, and sort.

      Why should emacs do everything ? It is absolutely crappy at everything except text editing. It is a fairly bad mail reader, a fairly bad news reader, and a HORRIBLE environment for writing functions to manipulate text. It is great for writing code or TeX though.

      This will reduce karma !
    • The Emacs Trap (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 21, 2001 @10:53PM (#2458212)
      You should *really* spend some time on Emacs. There is an *amazing* Zen type of relationship that you start to appreciate after about 2 weeks of using it.

      In my experience, choice of text editor (within reason; Notepad is pushing it and edlin is right out) has no effect whatsoever on programmer efficiency, as long as the editor is familiar to the programmer. Programming languages are specifically designed to make fancy text manipulation unnecessary. Sure, occasionally they fail in this, and it's handy to be able to program complex text manipulation scripts, but there's no advantage to doing so within the text editor, especially if it forces you to learn a new private language.

      However, when you delve into something with a complex, idiosyncratic keystroke interface like Vi or Emacs, you not only spend weeks checking the manual every 5 minutes, and years programming your editor as much as you edit your programs, you develop "editing reflexes" that lock you into that editor. Emacs got bigger and bigger because people want to spend less and less time outside it, not because they're so productive, but because typing anywhere else becomes immensely frustrating, because they have to slow themselves down and catch all the little Emacs tricks they would use.

      "Try something new, it can't hurt!" "You can't judge it until you've given it a fair try over a couple of weeks!" If you really believe these claims, why not spend your whole life switching text editors, just to "be fair?" Learning Emacs is a big investment, and whether it makes you more productive or not, you won't feel like abandoning it after all that.

      At least 99% of time spent editing programs is entering new text, reading text, and deleting/substituting text manually. Your choice of text editor will only significantly affect the other 1%, maybe enough to reduce it to 0.1%, but how much effort do you want to invest in that 1%?

      I'm not saying that it's necessarily a bad idea, but it's something you want to consider carefully before you leap into it. You really can't try out an editor like this casually.
    • Seriously, XEmacs has been leading the FSF's GNU Emacs for a whole lotta years now, in terms of the object model, the GUI, and the packaging. What's new in GNU Emacs 21 to make it the new leader? And how long will it be before the XEmacs folks adopt the worthwhile new features?

      The XEmacs/FSF Emacs split was the big project fork, for those of you who don't track Emacsen.

  • by mrm677 ( 456727 ) on Sunday October 21, 2001 @07:57PM (#2457697)
    And in other news, Bram Moolenaar announced that the upcoming version of Vim will be released as version 23. During a recent interview, Bram stated that "those Emacs morons think they can gain market share by inflating the version number. This jump in Vim versioning merely helps consumers accurately choose the best text editor. With Vim v6.0, some uninformed consumers may believe that Vim does not have as many features as Emacs v21. Besides, kudos to Michael Jordan for making another comeback...just like vi!".

    Richard Stallman could not be reached for comment. Sources believe that he is in Afghanistan promoting the name "GNU/Emacs" instead of just "Emacs".
    • Emacs does have more "features" than Vi, isn't that the point? Although many of us deem said features to be useless, and term them "bloat". Many people also see these things as great and actually can get more work done faster becasue of them. Just use what works for you, and we all can be happy.
  • So, is it easy to use yet?

    /me worries that his asbestos bunker is not safe enough

    Have they included the Emacs kernel with this release as well?

    Seriously though, I thought the Unix-alike philosophy was to have lots of small programs each doing it's own job well, rather than one huge program trying to do everything. Emacs seems to go against this more than Microsoft goes against the philosophy that an OS should be stable.
    • Well, Richard Stallman, the original author of GNU Emacs, is an old-school Lisp hacker. I have the impression he thinks of GNU as the best of a bad bunch; he'd probably rather be working on an old Symbolics Lisp Machine. So he's doubtless not too bothered about "the Unix philosphy".
  • I've been using Xemacs for a long time.

    Could someone with experience explain the difference between Xemacs and gnu emacs??
    • by ckd ( 72611 )
      Could someone with experience explain the difference between Xemacs and gnu emacs??

      Well, I could point out that image support and colors on TTYs were in XEmacs a long time ago (I still have a machine with XEmacs 20.4 on it, which has both...) but that might start up another "frank exchange of views" [] so I guess I'd better be pusillanimous [] instead.

      To be more succinct: they're different, based on the fact that the different development teams have different priorities. There are features that come in both directions, but IMHO they tend to show up on XEmacs first.

  • Please excuse my ignorance here. But I take a huge performance hit when I use emacs beacuse I don't know how to do line folding. Let me explain (and excuse the simplistic example). Suppose a file with the following content:

    Line one
    Line two
    line three
    line four
    Line five

    I'd like a command line where I type: "all /Line/" and the editor shows me...

    Line one
    Line two
    Line five

    And then I could do "less /two/" and the editor shows...

    Line one
    Line five

    And then I do a change... "s/e/x/g" and the buffer now shows...

    Linx onx
    Linx fivx

    And then I type "all" to show the entire file without regular expression folding.

    Linx onx
    Line two
    line three
    line four
    Linx fivx

    Wala! This is the kind of editing I like.
    Would someone show me how to do this with Emacs so that I can retire THE [].

  • by Anonymous Coward
    The problem with "Emacs 21" is that the name looks too uptight and cold. They should change it to "eMacs" - this is much more young and fresh. Also, what's with the version number? Much better to name it by year "eMacs 2001".
  • by goingware ( 85213 ) on Sunday October 21, 2001 @08:24PM (#2457777) Homepage
    Early in my career I programmed because I was able to get a job doing it and it paid the rent. I didn't like doing it, I didn't make all that much money off of it, and I didn't write particularly good code either.

    Then a consultant visited my employer and installed Emacs on our Suns. He gave me a little introductory lecture about Free Software and showed me a couple demos, but I didn't use it much right away.

    Then my friend Jeff Keller, who was an ardent user of GNU Emacs and personally acquainted with RMS from his time at MIT, spent an evening driving around in my car with me singing the praises of Emacs. I decided to give it a try.

    It wasn't too long before I discovered that it was extensible, but it wasn't too clear how one did it. For some reason I got hooked on the idea of writing my own native C functions callable from elisp - there are a lot of such functions built in - as well as calling lisp from C.

    I started reading the source code.

    I kind of dropped out of site as far as my employer was concerned for quite some time, diving headlong into both learning to use emacs proficiently and to program in it, but in the end I had a profound realization:

    There was something worth a damn someone can create by programming.

    I decided it would be worth the effort to program for real, in hopes that someday I could make a program as great as Richard Stallman's Emacs. Previously I had had the idea that software was more of a curiousity and not something to be taken seriously.

    My education was in Physics and Astronomy and back then I hadn't even completed my degree so I had a lot of work ahead of me.

    For most of my career I have usually selected the jobs I took based on what there was to learn in them. So I got my education in programming on the job, and in a very practical way. But I also spent a lot of time with basic texts, learning the fundamentals [].

    It's been about 14 years since then - I learned about Free Software before Linus even started at the University, let alone wrote Linux - and I've learned a lot and written quite a lot of software.

    I still haven't written my Great Program but I have various thoughts as to what it might be.

    With mixed feelings I say now that my favorite development environment is the Metrowerks CodeWarrior IDE. I don't have the Linux version yet so often when programming on Linux I mount my source code directory via samba or netatalk on a Mac or Windoze box and edit my files using codewarrior, doing my compiles and testing via X over the net.

    If I'm just programming within Linux I use whatever calls itself "vi" on my box, whether that is Vim or Elvis or whatnot.

    Every now and then I do pull out emacs though. When I need the power. Usually these days I just want something quick and simple.

    • If I'm just programming within Linux I use whatever calls itself "vi" on my box, whether that is Vim or Elvis or whatnot. Every now and then I do pull out emacs though. When I need the power. Usually these days I just want something quick and simple

      Ditto. I use vi whenever i just want to browse a file, or make some minor changes to a file, or createa 4 liner shell script, while I happen to be in the same directory. For any serious programming I use emacs.

      I had one collegue though, who could not work without his old MS editor. I don't know where he got it, but I believe it was something that came from an old version of NT, or maybe some editor that came with an ide. I really don't know. I had never heard of it before, or after. It looked like vi with colors. Even though all our software only ran on unix, this guy would ftp the work in progress to his windows box, and ftp back when it was time to compile. It really drove me nuts.

      • Ditto. I use vi whenever i just want to browse a file, or make some minor changes to a file, or createa 4 liner shell script, while I happen to be in the same directory. For any serious programming I use emacs.
        Like most, I don't use Emacs to edit config files as root or anything. But I also can't stand vi. I'd highly recommend Zile [], which acts a lot like Emacs (at least keybindings) and is very small. Development has restarted on it, and it works quite nicely -- much better than jove or any of the other Emacs-clones I've used.
  • by smartin ( 942 ) on Sunday October 21, 2001 @08:26PM (#2457782)
    No one has mentioned yet the coolest part. You can now point lilo at your emacs executable and boot directly into emacs. Yes, that's right no more pesky and redundant operating system in the way, emacs does everything you need anyway.
    • by rve ( 4436 )
      What are you trying to tell me? That I can run without operating system?

      No, Emacs. I'm trying to tell you that when you're ready, you won't have to.
  • How do we get rid of that cursor blinking? It's driving me up a wall.
  • I saw the screenshots a poster had linked to and I noticed the toolbar buttons weren't labelled. Tooltips are nice, but they are no substitute for labelling buttons. The label decreases access time with a mouse because it makes the toolbar a button bigger target and thus easier to hit via Fitt's law. Labelling the button also immediately tells the user what the button does, and they don't have to wait with the mouse hovering over the button for several seconds. That xemacs on my machine has labelled toolbar buttons and the one in the screenshot didn't is something I consider to be a step backwards. It's another case in the linux community where the "let's make it perty" crowd won out over the "let's make it usable" folks.
    • What the heck are you using the mouse to do? It's EMACS for crying out loud, not Mac Write!

      Seriously, won't use it if it makes me use my mouse to type code. The pretty widgets can stay in XEmacs for people who like that sort of thing.
  • by susano_otter ( 123650 ) on Sunday October 21, 2001 @08:40PM (#2457818) Homepage

    That should be "GNU/GNU Emacs".

    +1 Funny
    -1 Overrated


  • I'm new to unix and all that goes with it. Is there a good reference with information on the history of emacs, current state of emacs, and the future direction and goals of emacs? The GNU website has some info, but not a whole lot. Thanks in advance.
  • Emacs 21 annoyances (Score:4, Informative)

    by the Atomic Rabbit ( 200041 ) on Sunday October 21, 2001 @08:54PM (#2457860)
    Some of the new features of Emacs 21 will annoy those of us who are just too used to the old Emacs 20 interface. The following code will turn off the more "newbie-friendly" changes:

    (setq emacs21 (eq emacs-major-version 21))

    (when emacs21
    (blink-cursor-mode -1)
    (tool-bar-mode -1)
    (tooltip-mode -1)
    (global-set-key [home] 'beginning-of-buffer)
    (global-set-key [end] 'end-of-buffer)
    (setq rmail-confirm-expunge nil))

    That said, a ton of the new features are very cool. The News file is gigantic... the new features I particularly like are mouse-avoidance mode, the scalable mini-windows, mouse-popup-menubar-stuff, flyspell-mode, cursor-type, and auto-image-file-mode. Have fun!
  • Ed (Score:3, Funny)

    by wiredog ( 43288 ) on Sunday October 21, 2001 @08:55PM (#2457864) Journal
    is the standard text editor, dagnabit! You kids these days, with your fancy-schmancy buffers and fonts. Why, in my day we had to <Old_Fart_Stuff/> uphill, both ways, in the snow!
  • Changelog Mirror (Score:2, Informative)

    by rweir ( 96112 )
    Leave the poor CVS server alone: here [].
  • by kramit ( 137973 ) on Sunday October 21, 2001 @09:06PM (#2457894) Homepage
    I have not read the changelog yet, but I am wondering if they FINALLY added a talking paperclip to emacs?

    It is the one feature I really think this product needs in order to be a usable product.

  • Anyone out there managed to get the latest CVS drop to compile? I'm having a couple of problems. There seems to be a cyclical dependency between emacs and the elisp files. You need the elisp to be compiled in order to compile emacs, and you can't compile the elisp with anything other than the new copy of emacs.

    I have emacs version 20.7.1, and it reports the following error when I try to use it to compile the elisp:

    Compiling /home/jpollock/emacs21/emacs/lisp/emacs-lisp/byte- opt.el
    Wrong number of arguments: #[(fn new) ÃN?xÄ=ÅN

    B#ÃÄ#" [fn handler new byte-compile byte-compile-obsolete byte-obsolete-info put] 6 410024 "aMake function obsolete:
    xObsoletion replacement: "], 3
    make: *** [compile-files] Error 1

    Make on its own generates the following errors:

    make[1]: *** No rule to make target `/home/jpollock/emacs21/emacs/src/../lisp/abbrev.e lc', needed by `../etc/DOC'. Stop.
    make[1]: Leaving directory `/home/jpollock/emacs21/emacs/src'
    make: *** [src] Error 2

    Turning off DOC doesn't help, emacs itself has dependencies on the elisp. Then there's the joy of the "doit" dependency in the lisp tree being empty. :) Anyone out there have a solution?

    Jason Pollock
  • Antinews (Score:4, Funny)

    by the Atomic Rabbit ( 200041 ) on Sunday October 21, 2001 @09:34PM (#2457966)

    As always, the best source of information on the features of a new release is the Anti-News in the (excellently written) Emacs Manual, which should come bundled with each installation. It's provided to prepare "those users who live backwards in time" for Emacs version 20, and is great fun. A sample:

    • Emacs now provides its own "lean and mean" scroll bars instead of using those from the X toolkit. Toggle buttons and radio buttons in menus now look just like any other menu item, which simplifies them, and prevents them from standing out and distracting your attention from the other menu items.
    • The arrangement of menu bar items differs from most other GUI programs. We think that uniformity of look-and-feel is boring, and that Emacs' unique features require its unique menu-bar configuration.
    • Emacs 20 does not pop up a buffer with error messages when an error is signaled during loading of the user's init file. Instead, it simply announces the fact that an error happened. To know where in the init file that was, insert `(message "foo")' lines judiciously into the file and look for those messages in the `*Messages*' buffer.
    • Some commands no longer treat Transient Mark mode specially. For example, `ispell' doesn't spell-check the region when Transient Mark mode is in effect and the mark is active; instead, it checks the current buffer. (Transient Mark mode is alien to the spirit of Emacs, so we are planning to remove it altogether in an earlier version.)
    • Many complicated display features, including highlighting of mouse-sensitive text regions and popping up help strings for menu items, don't work in the MS-DOS version. Spelling doesn't work on MS-DOS, and Eshell doesn't exist, so there's no workable shell-mode, either. This fits the spirit of MS-DOS, which resembles a dumb character terminal.
    • The `woman' package has been removed, so Emacs users on non-Posix systems will need _a real man_ to read manual pages. (Users who are not macho can read the Info documentation instead.)
    • To keep up with decreasing computer memory capacity and disk space, many other functions and files have been eliminated in Emacs 20.
  • by goingware ( 85213 ) on Sunday October 21, 2001 @09:47PM (#2458019) Homepage
    It's not up to emacs 21 yet, but there is a Windows port of GNU Emacs available.

    I was suprised to see it wasn't available with Cygwin [] yet, but it is available separately (Cygwin.dll is a POSIX api that runs under Windows, and the whole Cygwin system is a shell environment consisting of lots of programs that have been compiled to use Cygwin.dll - check it out if you use Windows at all; it's very easy to install).

    Anyway, you can get what is called "NT Emacs" from one of these mirrors []. Note you will need a Microsoft compiler to build it; it has not yet been configured to build under gcc for Windows - if you don't have MSVC, then get one of the binary packages.

    This is the NT Emacs FAQ [].

    Despite that it is called "NT Emacs" it is reported to work on non-NT versions of Windows.

    Here is a helpful installation guide [].

    Here is a Google search [] for "NT Emacs" that turns up a lot of helpful pages.

    NT Emacs by default runs the Windows command interpreter when you run shells within it. If you use Cygwin, here is how you run bash as a shell under NT Emacs [].

    After getting all nostalgic about emacs in my post below, I thought I'd give my old friend another try. But right now I'm doing Windows work, and I was suprised to find Cygwin doesn't provide emacs; a little search turned up the above. I haven't actually even downloaded it yet, but I'm about to. I run Linux too (Debian PPC & Slackware) but this way I can use it for my current work.

  • Where can I download the Win32 binaries of the new version???
    • Looks like the Mirrors are still at 20.7

      ./ got to the main server before the mirrors could!

      I can't even get the source to try and compile it myself.

      Why is asking for a username and password? What should I enter?

      Windows Guru, Linux Newbie, seeking to become Linux Guru.
  • It's tough getting through to, and most of the mirror sites won't update until overnight tonight.

    So, I've put emacs-21.1.tar.gz and leim-21.1.tar.gz for a temporary mirror. Visit:

    If you make a temporary mirror, perhaps you could respond to this post. ... Greg

  • by jaffray ( 6665 ) on Sunday October 21, 2001 @10:22PM (#2458118)
    This is an honest question, not a rhetorical attempt to lure someone into a flamewar.

    I've heard several accounts of advantages of XEmacs over GNU Emacs. I haven't heard anyone say "I'm familiar with both versions and I prefer GNU Emacs for technical reasons and here's why", but there must be such people. Anyone willing to step up and do a little advocacy? It might be enlightening.

    Unfortunately, I'm not sufficiently familiar with Emacs and Emacs-Lisp to evaluate the differences for myself.
    • XEmacs has always been close to a superset of Emacs featurewise, so it is not likely many people will be able to point to a specific feature and say "that's why". However, both Emacs and XEmacs both has so many features, that only people with patological featuritis will chose XEmacs simply because it has more features. Most sane people will only let that be the deciding feature, if they really need some specific feature (like color in text terminals before Emacs 21).

      Here are some real reasons most people use Emacs:

      - Conservatism. Why switch when the existing solution work fine?

      - Emacs is what most people hear about first, even XEmacs is often refered to as just "Emacs".

      Here are some of mine:

      - Emacs "feel" more coherent (both on a Lisp and UI level), probably because RMS has always been directing, even when someone else has been official maintainer. XEmacs has had different maintainers, and different parts have a different feel.

      - I have submitted lots of small "scratch an itch" patches to Emacs, which makes it work better for me than XEmacs out of the box. (The big patches I also send to the XEmacs people).

      - I trust Emacs to stay around because of RMS' dedication, and I like its role as flagship for the GNU project. I also like the historic significance, with RMS as the original author.

      If you really want technical reasons, Emacs 21 will provide some. It's font model is stronger than XEmacs. It has limited Unicode support out of the box (XEmacs needs an add-on). I believe most of the GUI features are more elegant designed (if sometimes more limited featurewise) at the API level than for XEmacs.
  • by Zeinfeld ( 263942 ) on Sunday October 21, 2001 @10:48PM (#2458197) Homepage
    Having once worked in 545 Tech sq. I am reluctant to use an editor whose main author suffers from severe carpel tunnel syndrome - along with mny of the other people in the building.

    meta-control-shift-hyper-q is not a good choice for 'move cursor right'

    The choice of keys may hve made sense on the keyboards emacs was originally designed using. However the left hand scrunch required for many emacs opertions is particularly bad on the carpel tunnel.

    And don't get me started on vi. If you like using obsolete teletype editors the EDT teletype mode was better. Using vi is like trying to edit a file by casting spells. People don't use that type of program because its good, they use it because its bad giving the loser the opportunity to flame on /. about how people who say it sucks 'don't understand' 'are not worthy' and like patronizing bullcrap.

    First programming job I had in a big company I was sat down in front of a Vt100 and shown how to run the EDT tutorial mode. Having spent the morning mastering line mode and thinking 'what a piece of crap' the next section of the tutorial covered screen mode...

    • Life with Linux and even Windows is much easier if you redefine your keyboard so that the Caps-Lock key is control (I move Caps Lock to the odd little Windows-key with the arrow pointing at a menu).

      I can't imagine why the Caps Lock key was placed where it is on PC keyboards; Ctrl is much more frequently used even under Windows.


    • Move cursor right is the right arrow on the inverted T arrow keys.

      Richard Stallman may have carpal tunnel syndrome, but it's not because emacs is inefficient, it's because he worked too hard for too long on the GNU project.

  • Version 21? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by 00Monkey ( 264977 )
    No offense here, I've used Emacs and it's cool but I never really payed attention to the version before. Doesn't anyone think it's about time to give up on the whole Ver. 1, Ver. 2, Ver. 541 naming scheme? Ver. 21 is a *bit* high, heh.
  • editor wars (Score:5, Funny)

    by bozo42 ( 68206 ) <> on Sunday October 21, 2001 @11:09PM (#2458246) Homepage

    I asked my email-pal: "UNIX or Windoze?".
    He replied "UNIX".
    I said " too!".

    I asked my email-pal: "Linux or AIX?".
    He said "Linux, of course".
    I said "Me too".

    I asked him: "Emacs or vi".
    He replied "Emacs".
    I said "Me too. Small world."

    I asked him: "GNU Emacs or XEmacs?",
    and he said "GNU Emacs".
    I said "oh, me too."

    I asked him "GNU Emacs 19 or GNU Emacs 20"?
    and he said "GNU Emacs 19".
    I said "oh, me too."

    I asked him, "GNU Emacs 19.29 or GNU Emacs 19.34",
    and he replied "GNU Emacs 19.29".

Q: How many IBM CPU's does it take to execute a job? A: Four; three to hold it down, and one to rip its head off.