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Re: An Emacs plug-in for a browser (Firefox?)

From: Stefan Monnier
Subject: Re: An Emacs plug-in for a browser (Firefox?)
Date: Sat, 06 Sep 2008 16:11:13 -0400
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/23.0.60 (gnu/linux)

> To make Emacs display web pages with their correct appearance is a
> gigantic job.  I don't think that linking Emacs with a web browser
> display engine is a feasible method.

On the contrary, I think it's a very good direction.  Hopefully, we can
do that with a browser (or rendering engine) that might be interesting
in participating in this effort, so that we can get them to help us
better intergrate the two tools (e.g. integrate Firefox's display in an
Emacs window, but then let Firefox use Emacs windows for its
text-editing widgets).

> I proposed years ago that we extend Emacs to the point where it can
> function as a word processor.

It never struck me as an interesting goal: for one, we already have
latex-mode for that (i.e. Emacs is the only tool I use for word
processing, even more so now that I can display the resulting PDF with
doc-view-mode), and in any case we already have plenty to do in order to
make Emacs the best text editor there is.

> This is mainly a matter of adding features that let you put things in
> a buffer (and save them in files) to get various kinds of formatting
> effects.  To display web pages is an even more distant goal; it
> requires MORE new buffer and display features.

I think that efforts along the lines of what W3 tried to do would be
a waste of time.  Better try to reuse other people's efforts trying to
write good HTML rendering engines than try and come up with our own,
especially since it's a very difficult project in itself.


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