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Re: emacs online

From: Alan Mackenzie
Subject: Re: emacs online
Date: 15 Jul 2003 20:30:40 +0200
Date: Tue, 15 Jul 2003 11:12:09 +0000
User-agent: tin/1.4.5-20010409 ("One More Nightmare") (UNIX) (Linux/2.0.35 (i686))

Alex <address@hidden> wrote on 13 Jul 2003 16:12:19 -0400:
> Dear emacs staff:

Hi, Alex.

This mailing list (bug-gnu-emacs) is really for reporting definite bugs
in Emacs rather than asking for help.  You'd do better posting your
request in the list help-gnu-emacs (or, equivalently, on the newsgroup

Also, there isn't really an "emacs staff".  Emacs is developed and
supported by lots of people round the world, most of them unpaid
enthusiasts, communicating over the Internet.  There is a group of around
ten people (order of magnitude estimate) who develop the Emacs core.
There are many more (probably several hundred) who develop and maintain
Emacs "modes", the features that really make Emacs fun to use.

> I was interested in making an online version of emacs

"Online"?  There are already facilities for running Emacs at the far end
of a comms line, though I don't know much about them myself.

> .... for those without linux .....

Emacs runs on many, many operating system, including all varieties of
Unix, Microsoft Windows, VAX VMS, Apple Macs, ......

> .... or who just need to write a quick program online and save it on a
> disk.

Emacs may not be the right tool for this job.  Although it's an
exceptionally powerful editor and is very easy to use, deriving any
benefit from it's use requires substantial learning time.  This doesn't
seem to mesh well with "just writing a quick program".  Just a thought.

> I was planning on programming this (using php) but needed help in
> trying to decipher the *.el files which contain color coordination for
> the emacs system.

They're written in Lisp.  Assuming you've already got and are using
Emacs, try C-h i (to get Info), followed by m emacs-lisp-intro (to open
the emacs lisp tutorial).  Once you've got the basic idea of lisp (which
will take some concentrated study), go to elisp info page and search
through it for the phrase "font lock" (or "font-lock").  That will
explain how the Font Locking is set up for a particular mode.

> Though I understand it won't contain ALL possibilities of the emacs
> platform, my main goal is to create a free online editor based on the
> already-designed and perfected emacs platform.

Again, why "based on"?  It's likely that there are already facilities in
existence for using full Emacs over a comms line.

> Please tell me what you think and if there is any possible way you can
> help me.  

> Sincerely,

> Alex S.

All the best!

Alan Mackenzie (Munich, Germany)
Email: address@hidden; to decode, wherever there is a repeated letter
(like "aa"), remove half of them (leaving, say, "a").

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