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Re: What's your favourite *under_publicized* editing feature ofEmacs?


From: rusi
Subject: Re: What's your favourite *under_publicized* editing feature ofEmacs?
Date: Sun, 27 Feb 2011 20:37:35 -0800 (PST)
User-agent: G2/1.0

On Feb 28, 8:58 am, Stefan Monnier <address@hidden> wrote:
> > To add my cent-and-a-half… I use emacs (and git) for novel
> > translation—functionally the same as novel writing. While I'm far
> > happier with this setup than with any other (in moving from a Mac to
> > Linux, my only regret is the loss of Tinderbox), I can certainly see
> > cthun's point. When you are writing long-form text, the unit is the
> > paragraph. When writing code, the unit is the line. Writing prose, the
> > addition of one word can transform a whole paragraph (using fill-mode).
> > Writing code, the addition of one "word" generally only changes a line.
>
> Note that most of those tools don't actually care about lines, or may
> not even use lines that much internally.  The only part that uses lines
> is the default tool that provides a visual diff, as well as the default
> tool that performs 3-way merges.
>
> But yes, they tend to be tuned for source code, and prose tends to work
> less well.  FWIW, to come back to Emacs, diff-mode and smerge-mode both
> support word-grained highlighting of differences, so while the diff
> hunks and merge conflicts will include whole paragraphs rather than just
> lines, the `refine'd highlighting will let you see which parts have
> really changed.  I implemented this specifically to address this problem
> when working with LaTeX documents.  At some point, I guess we should
> improve that support to provide word-grained diffs and merge conflicts,
> which will require a different format since context diffs and diff3
> conflict markers are inherently line-based.
>
>         Stefan

For emacs (and such) this may be the way to go and is welcome.
For git (and such) however it may be preferable to have generic diff/
merge plugin capability; specifically for 'xml-container' formats like
odt and docx  but also more generically.

Personal note: I use nted
http://vsr.informatik.tu-chemnitz.de/~jan/nted/nted.xhtml
to enter music and I have a hell of a time versioning and diffing.

[eg I used a cello for one audience and organ for another, or do-re-mi
for a western audience and sa-re-ga for an Indian]

As things are I could tag such things with git (and such) but not diff/
merge and emacs is not so much use for low-level file formats.


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