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Emacs: a 21st century text-editor

From: Christopher G D Tipper
Subject: Emacs: a 21st century text-editor
Date: Tue, 08 Mar 2005 20:04:02 -0000

Emacs: a 21st century text-editor

I have been using emacs for over a year now, and value its power and
flexibility. However, I cannot get used to some idiosyncrasies of its
behaviour which seem to me to be artifacts of its heritage, rather
than components of a piece of modern software. What I am talking about
is nothing to do with any superficial features, such as the complex
interface nor its architecture. It just seems to be stuck in the 20th
century with no sign of any attempt at modernisation.

1 Text-wrapping. Text wrapping is a limitation, and it would be nice
  to scroll past the edge of the screen. This is particularly acute in
  my case editing XSLT scripts where line-breaks become a
  presentational issue. Sometimes I actually need to compose documents
  with 250 columns, and I don't appreciate emacs telling me otherwise.

2 Shell open. Emacs really ought to be able recognise when the shell
  is requesting it to open a file. Gnu-client should be unnecessary in
  a modern application.

3 Tabbed buffers. Open buffers should be easily visible in a tabbed
  layout below the menu, in the manner of XEmacs. A proper history
  list would help here so that documents are persistent across

4 File Dialogs. I use dlgopen.el on Windows, which gets rid of the
  most serious interface issue of all, the lack of modern file
  dialogs. It wouldn't be rocket-science to adapt the interface to
  support this. XEmacs file dialogs are unusable IMHO.

5 Paste replaces edit. This idea that when I paste I end up with both
  the replacement text and the old text does not belong in the modern
  idiom. This is a real versioning issue when the replacement text
  scrolls past the bottom of the screen. I think this is just an
  old-fashioned feature that never got updated.

Best wishes,
Christopher Tipper
  "Since light travels faster than sound, isn't that why 
   some people appear bright until you hear them speak" 
                                          - Steve Wright

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