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Re: Emacs: a 21st century text-editor

From: Gian Uberto Lauri
Subject: Re: Emacs: a 21st century text-editor
Date: Thu, 10 Mar 2005 21:01:28 +0100

My 0.002Ž¤ (the 0 count is right). I apologize for the delay.

>>>>> "MD" == Mathias Dahl <address@hidden> writes:

MD> "Christopher G D Tipper" <address@hidden> writes:
>> It just seems to be stuck in the 20th century with no sign of any
>> attempt at modernisation.

No "modern" program has the  flexibility of Emacs. No modern editor is
as good  as Emacs. No  modern editor  is ready to  do my work  for me,
Emacs does it often.

MD> Although I agree somewhat I think you are a bit unfair. Lately it
MD> has got some nie-looking tool bar, the file dialog when accessed
MD> from the menu bar is quite good (at least on Windows), etc.

It's good under Mac OS X, Linux when compiled wiht GTK and so on.
(uh oh, the toolbar is cool looking, but I keep it disabled).

>> 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.

MD> Have you tried Ctrl-PgDown and Ctrl-PgUp? Works quite well. I too
MD> miss a horizontal scroll bar sometimes though.

Hmmmm... Even  not using Ctrl-PgDown  and Ctrl-PgUp I rarely  feel the
need of  this when i set sqlplus  line to 30000 characters  and shot a
sixty fields query (of course,  sqlplus is controlled by emacs and its
output goes in an Emacs buffer).

With code... I feel that whenever  you have to scroll past the edge of
the  screen there's  something wrong  either in  your code  or  in the
language design...  Anyway I  can deal with these situations disabling
the  text wrapping and  using word  or line  moving commands.  IMHO of

>> 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.

MD> I agree with this and I really do not understand why it should be
MD> that hard to "feel" if an Emacs instance is allready running, and
MD> opening the file in that. But I am no low-level programmer, so I
MD> would not know about technical limitations here.

Emacs is  the shell.

gnuclient or emacsclient are still a very good solution since they are
useful in al broader range of situations.

They can help  you with the clicky thing, but they  are useful in many
other  situations, especially when  you call  anc Emacs  function from
OUTSIDE emacs, not only to invoke an existing emacs from the shell.

>> 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
>> sessions.

MD> Personally, that tab-bar would be so crowded that the tabs would
MD> not do any good. I tend to have many files and buffers open,
MD> especially since emacs is more than a text editor for me (reading
MD> news, mail, todolists, calendar etc etc). Btw, have you tried out
MD> tabbar.el? I don't like it, but you might.

I agree 100%

>> 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.

MD> On Windows, File -> Open File... works for me. I like to open the
MD> files using the minibuffer though.

Again. it works on Mac OS X, Linux (at least if compiled with GTK)

MD> Basically I see where you are coming from, but by being a bit
MD> flexible and accepting some "old quirks" (which seems to be really
MD> thought through when you get used to it), I like it the way it
MD> works. Just because something is not familiar does not meen that
MD> it is bad.

MD> IMHO, of course... :)

Not  just your  opinion. I  did a  talk to  our local  FSUG,  a simple
introduction explaining how Emacs was born, how it was designed and so
on. While workind  on this talk I realized (mostly  thanks to a Usenet
post) that keybindings are choosen  in a very smart way that considers
how often  you use them.  CUA  standard is ludicrous  when compared to
the wisdom behind Emacs keybinding choice.

 /\            ___
/___/\__|_|\_|__|___Gian Uberto Lauri_____________________
  //--\ | | \|  |   Integralista GNUslamico
\/                  e coltivatore diretto di software

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