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Re: Emacs on Aqua (non-religious please)


From: Benjamin Riefenstahl
Subject: Re: Emacs on Aqua (non-religious please)
Date: 08 May 2003 14:07:04 +0200
User-agent: Gnus/5.09 (Gnus v5.9.0) Emacs/21.2

Hi bk,


address@hidden (BK) writes:
> Sorry, but I will respond in respect of what looks likely to lead to
> answers to the questions I had asked. Your understanding is
> appreciated.

I agree.

> For the purpose of the questions I had asked Carbon emacs has to be
> treated as a separate entity. The commandline version is
> pre-installed on OSX at /usr/bin/emacs and it exhibits different
> behaviour.

Don't start again ;-).  The version shipped with MacOSX is an older
version of GNU Emacs, but I doubt that it has any customizations, it
should be just a straight compile directly from the sources.

So in theory, if you call the Emacs that you have newly installed from
the command line with the -nw option, everything that works in the
shipped version, especially the keyboard support in the terminal,
should also work in more recent versions.  Are you sure that the
shipped version (20.7) behaves different from the one you currently
have in terminal mode?  In what way actually?  20.7 doesn't do colors
on the terminal, like 21 does (where available), but otherwise?

Oh, and BTW are you sure that /usr/bin/emacs actually still *is* the
original?  What does M-x emacs-version say?

> 1) is file drag and drop intended to work in Carbon Emacs?

Yes it does work here with a recent compile, without any
customizations. 

> 2) is text snippet drag and drop intended to work in Carbom Emacs?

It doesn't work here, and I haven't seen anybody mention the feature
(for Emacs) before.  That doesn't mean it won't be implemented in the
future, I would certainly like that.

> 3) is quit from the Emacs menu intended to quit Emacs?

I already answered that in detail from two different angles, I think.

> 4) is quit from the dock menu intended to quit Emacs?

Yes it does work here with a recent compile, without any
customizations.

> 5) is paste intended to be greyed out even in the event that
> something was pasted into the clipboard in another application ?

I'd say that is a bug, once you get emacs running, you may want to
post a bug report (M-x report-emacs-bug) about that.

> 6) if the answer to #5 is "yes", then how does one paste from one
> application into Emacs?

I thought you already knew the relevant Emacs keyboard command?  It's
not connected in any way to the menu, so it should work, however the
menu looks.

Most Emacs users use keyboard commands most of the time, they don't
even call them "shortcuts."  That's probably why menu features always
lag a bit, until somebody thinks of the poor newbies (no irony
intended).  Actually in the sentence above you could probably replace
"Most Emacs users" with "99 % of all users with more than two weeks
Emacs experience."

> 7) if the answer to #5 is "no", then what needs to be done to make
> it work?

File a bug report, fix it yourself or find somebody who can fix it (no
irony or offence intended).  Emacs is a community effort, filing bug
reports is the least anybody can do to help.

> Do you happen to know when this official release can reasonably be
> expected? Again, if possible, I would like to document that.

The current Emacs version is 21.3.  According to
http://members.shaw.ca/akochoi-emacs/ offical support is expected for
21.4.  As with most if not all open source projects, nobody can give
any dates.


I assume that most of your other questions are answered with this and
with my previous posts, so in the rest I'll concentrate on what I
think may still be open.  Just remind me if I forget something.


> >   http://members.shaw.ca/akochoi-emacs/
> 
> I did not see any binary on that site

No, but much very relevant information from the main author and a link
to the FAQ at http://members.shaw.ca/akochoi-emacs/FAQ.txt.  Which,
now that I look at it, would have answered much of your questions, I
believe.  At least it should give you a feeling what is to be expected
from the port.

> >   http://www.cs.man.ac.uk/~franconi/mac-emacs/
> 
> This requires 10.2, right now I am constrained to 10.1.5. However,
> this one does look rather promising, so when I get to the 10.2 part
> I'll give this a try.

There is a link down there on that page to
http://www.cs.man.ac.uk/~franconi/mac-emacs/index-1.4.html.
Admittedly that is also only the patch for version 21.1, probably
Andrews' patch at least.

> > > > > On a Mac you can just drag a file icon with the mouse onto
> > > > > an application icon and the application will open the file.
> > 
> > Actually I just checked (I wasn't at my Mac the last time) and this
> > works fine in the current version.
> 
> Can you tell me the version number? Do you know if it is intended to
> work in 21.1.30 ?

You'd have to ask the author of that version.  I only got to play with
MacOSX first last year, and while I did work with one of the prebuilt
binary versions back than, I didn't do serious work at that time and I
don't remember what I tried and what I didn't.  It seemed usable for
me though, I don't remember that I had any problems with the keyboard
commands.

> > > Likewise, if the dock menu says "Quit" then the application must
> > > quit when you select "Quit".
> > 
> > And it does here.
> 
> Just a moment please. A few lines above you said it was greyed out,
> now you say it works. I am confused now.

"Dock" != "application menu", if I remember the teminology correctly.
I only said (or meant to say) that the "Quit" in the MacOSX standard
menu (the one on top, named "Emacs" in bold) was greyed.

> Or do you have *yet another* "Quit" option. How many "Quit" options
> do you have?

;-)) This is Emacs.  I can have as many options as I want.

> Well, my aim is to provide information for both users of 10.1.5 and
> 10.2, if that is possible. Also, I would like to base this on
> pre-built binaries

As you probably know by now, there are no prebuilt binaries in the
sense of a regular distribution.  You could do the same as that LaTeX
user and compile your own and make that available somewhere for your
users.  It should be much easier to support that anyway, than to have
your users go through the experience of trying all kinds of ports,
like you seem to have done yourself.

> On the other hand, if that is too ambitious and it turns out that
> 10.1 users have to live with various problems if they encounter
> them, I guess all I can do is tell them not to expect too much, but
> if there is a chance I can avoid that, then I'd like to explore this
> chance.

I think it may be possible to compile Emacs on 10.1, it's worth a try.
Actually Andrews' page says this: "Emacs for Mac OS X has been
reported to build and run on both Mac OS X 10.1 and 10.2."  I can't
check myself, as I don't have 10.1 installed, and I don't even know if
the Developer Tools are still available from Apple.

> In other words I want to make the hurdle as low as possible so that
> someone who would like to take a peek at Lisp will be able to get
> started without having to make an effort on the editor side.

Note that this doesn't sound like the original Emacs target audience.

It is not difficult with a regular Emacs release to learn how to use
it.  But if a user wants to be productive in Emacs, she/he should
expect to spend time to learn it.  Emacs is for serious work (no
slight intended) and serious work requires that one knows her/his
tools, which in turn requires some time and patience concentrating on
the tools for their own sake.  At least that is the POV of Emacs, and
I tend to agree myself.

Emacs is not CodeWarrior or some other specialized environment, where
you install, type your hello world program and have a look at your
first compiler error message in seconds.  And it probably will never
be like that.

> [M-x view-lossage] this is what I get ...
> 
> Loads of: <mouse-movement>
> 
> followed by: <drag-mouse-1> <down-mouse-1> <mouse-movement> <mouse-1>
> 
> and: M-x v i e w - l o s s a g e RET
> 
> I presume this tells us nothing, but I hope we can nevertheless take
> advantage of the fact that this is working. Can we?

It tells us that the only things Emacs has seen before were mouse
movement, clicks and the view-lossage command itself.  Did you press
any other keys before that command?  Like, if I press C-g three time
and than M-x view-lossage, I get this:

  [...] C-g C-g C-g M-x v i e w - l o s s a g e <return>

Which shows that Emacs got the C-g command fine here.  So this way you
can press a key, than issue that command and see if and what Emacs has
seen.  If Emacs hasn't seen your keys, you can't make that key work
without changes in the source and re-compile.  If Emacs has seen it,
but interpreted differently from what you expected, that would help.
It may be possible to configure it, at least in the current CVS
version.  Or you could change your expectation ;-).

One thing that I notice about your result above is that it says "RET"
instead of "<return>".  That tells me that it uses a terminal-like
mode of interpretation of the keyboard for the return key, and that in
turn means that modifiers will not work with that key.  Yes it's an
esoteric distinction and a regular user cannot be expected to know
about this, but just trust me that I know that it makes a difference.
Anyway, the practical offshot is that C-return, S-return or M-return
will probably not work, because Emacs will always just see "RET" for
all of these.  Try those for a start.  Than try other keys, see what
they give and report back, if you want to pursue this.


so long, benny


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