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Folding emacsclient into emacs (was: New start up splash screen annoyanc

From: Bill Wohler
Subject: Folding emacsclient into emacs (was: New start up splash screen annoyance...)
Date: Tue, 11 Sep 2007 19:48:51 -0700
User-agent: Gnus/5.11 (Gnus v5.11) Emacs/22.1 (gnu/linux)

Chong Yidong <address@hidden> writes:

> Richard Stallman <address@hidden> writes:
>>     So what is the recommended way to use Emacs when one wants to edit a
>>     file and has no Emacs session started already?
>> If you have no Emacs running, type `emacs'.
>> Otherwise, resume your existing Emacs.
>> Then type C-x C-f FILE RET.
>> It is a bad idea to teach yourself habits that presume
>> you don't have an Emacs running, because that would lead
>> you to kill Emacs and restart it, or to start multiple Emacs jobs.
>> Over 20 years of Emacs experience shows that it is important to teach
>> beginners to unlearn the habit of finding a file by typing `emacs FILE'.
> What you say may have been true 20 years ago.
> On modern computers, Emacs starts up so quickly and uses such an
> insignificant amount of memory that there is basically much no
> difference between starting a new Emacs and returning to a
> pre-existing Emacs session.


Not only that, consider other legitimate use cases such as "sudo emacs
FILE" or "ssh SOME_REMOTE_MACHINE; emacs -nw FILE". Emacs would start
up as fast as vi if it weren't for the blasted splash screen that
needs to be dismissed.

I like David's idea of "Welcome! To learn about Emacs, press F1 C-a or
use the Help/About menu." And it can go in the mini-buffer where it
will not contribute to the principle of least astonishment (or most
annoyance, whatever the case may be).

Here's something completely different: If it hurts when the user does
something, don't let them do it.

Many programs today will attach themselves to an existing process when
started. Emacs can do the same thing. If the "emacs" executable
detects an existing process on the local machine owned by the same
user in the same session (X server), and the -nw option is not
specified, it can behave like emacsclient; otherwise, it starts a new

Bill Wohler <address@hidden>  http://www.newt.com/wohler/  GnuPG ID:610BD9AD

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