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Re: Emacs Customization - newbie's question

From: Daniel R. Anderson
Subject: Re: Emacs Customization - newbie's question
Date: 31 Mar 2003 10:43:14 +0000

I just went to the Emacs FAQ at (Newbies take note --
it's a good reference.) 

All changes between version 19 and 21 are either superficial (regarding
appearence) or not going to affect noobs.  That is, of course, unless
noobs write LISP.


4.3 What is different about Emacs 20?

   To find out what has changed in recent versions, type `C-h n' (`M-x
view-emacs-news').  The oldest changes are at the bottom of the file,
so you might want to read it starting there, rather than at the top.

   The differences between Emacs versions 18 and 19 was rather dramatic;
the introduction of frames, faces, and colors on windowing systems was
obvious to even the most casual user.

   There are differences between Emacs versions 19 and 20 as well, but
many are more subtle or harder to find.  Among the changes are the
inclusion of MULE code for languages that use non-Latin characters and
for mixing several languages in the same document; the "Customize"
facility for modifying variables without having to use Lisp; and
automatic conversion of files from Macintosh, Microsoft, and Unix

   A number of older Lisp packages, such as Gnus, Supercite and the
calendar/diary, have been updated and enhanced to work with Emacs 20,
and are now included with the standard distribution.

4.4 What is different about Emacs 21?

   Emacs 21 features a thorough rewrite of the display engine.  The new
display engine supports variable-size fonts, images, and can play sounds
on platforms which support that.  As a result, the visual appearence of
Emacs, when it runs on a windowed display, is much more reminiscent of
modern GUI programs, and includes 3D widgets (used for the mode line and
the scroll bars), a configurable and extensible toolbar, tooltips
(a.k.a. balloon help), and other niceties.

   In addition, Emacs 21 supports faces on text-only terminals.  This
means that you can now have colors when you run Emacs on a GNU/Linux
console and on `xterm' with `emacs -nw'.

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