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Re: is there summary of template systems for emacs?

From: Peter Milliken
Subject: Re: is there summary of template systems for emacs?
Date: Mon, 8 Dec 2008 06:14:33 +1100

Hi Xah,

I'd be interested in your opinion of ELSE. I haven't tried some of the others that you mention - ELSE suits me fine. I have tried tempo and skeleton etc but were turned off by the "intrusive" and horribly awkward interfaces that they presented to the user. I had been exposed to DEC's LSE in the past (circa 1985), and found that it didn't "get in my face" or cause awkward usage problems, so I decided to "port" their language sensitive editor functionality to Emacs (hence E(macs)LSE :-)).

But facilities such as ELSE, tempo, skeleton etc are obviously not very popular (which I have never been able to understand!) i.e. I have shown many fellow programmers ELSE over the years and not a single one of them has ever taken up it's use. In fact, through all the time ELSE has been available on the Internet, I have only ever received less than 10 queries/expressions of interest in it - which may argue that it just doesn't hit the mark! :-) But given the alternatives that were available (especially in the "early days") I don't think that was the case. Of course, these days, it is even less likely because Emacs just isn't that popular as an editor i.e. there are probably 30 - 40 programmers at my current place of employ and there is only one other programmer here that uses Emacs - so the opportunities for creating "converts" are not good at all!

ELSE does not use (e)lisp like syntax. It has it's own template file for generating new templates. It has (what I believe is) extensive documentation - something that has always annoyed me about many Emacs packages (such as tempo and skeleton) - when they were first available it was very much "read the code and examples" - I believe that has changed for skeleton but I had long since lost interest by the time somebody rectified that!

So I would echo Drew's call - by all means do a comparison and share the results if you can with us all.


On Wed, Dec 3, 2008 at 11:34 AM, Drew Adams <address@hidden> wrote:
> there seems to be a lot elisp packages for defining templates. Has
> anyone studied them and can give a comparison? Basically, i just need
> a brief explanation of their syntax and feature.
> the emacswiki page
> is very helpful in listing them but a clear summary and comparison is
> lacking. here's what i found so far....

Good idea. Please update the wiki with a summary of the info you found and
whatever else comes out of this thread that might be helpful. The next person
who looks where you did will then find that missing help. ;-)

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