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Re: Emacs vs. TextMate (not trying to start an editor war)


From: Miles Bader
Subject: Re: Emacs vs. TextMate (not trying to start an editor war)
Date: Fri, 11 Jul 2008 13:44:17 +0900

Cezar Halmagean <address@hidden> writes:
> This is what I keep hearing about Emacs, how it would take a complete
> rewrite to support that. Is that true ? Or what is the *thing* missing
> in Emacs that makes it so hard to make it a top web dev IDE/editor.

You can do anything you want, it's just a matter of code.... :-)

The problem, as I understand it, is that typical Emacs major modes use a
lot of buffer-local variables etc, and make various assumptions about
having "control" of the whole buffer.

Many Emacs primitive mechanisms actually _can_ be made to work on
sub-regions of the buffer (e.g., syntax tables, keymaps, etc., are
traditionally buffer-local, but can also be defined using
text-properties).  One could write a mode which is very careful to
respect such region boundaries, and uses region-local mechanisms instead
of buffer-local ones, but it would likely be a fair amount of work, and
mean you probably can't re-use existing code very easily.

What is really desirable, I think, is some way of transparently fooling
"whole buffer" modes into thinking they have control of a whole buffer,
when in fact, they just have control of part of one.  I think it's
probably possible to do this (perhaps using an extension of the indirect
buffer mechanism?) but afaik nobody has really looked at the problem
closely.

-Miles

-- 
"Whatever you do will be insignificant, but it is very important that
 you do it."  Mahatma Gandhi


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