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Migrating .emacs Configuration File to Newer Emacsen

From: Norbert Grün
Subject: Migrating .emacs Configuration File to Newer Emacsen
Date: Mon, 01 Aug 2005 21:18:17 +0100

Dear Madam or Sir!

This mail is CC-ed to the FSF which is the real home of Emacs.

But you should be notified of the problem.

This may take off load from your support.

Please avoid pointing at each other blaming for the fault, Emacs
maintenance should be in cathedral mode instead of bazaar mode because 
is an important infrastructure and deregulation and privatising
infrastructures hasn't yielded the benefits promised, but worsened 
and quality below former public maintenance which will make shareholder
value go down rapidly in the not too far future. Deregulation also 
ruins private industry in the same way. A turbocharger needs a 
And of course, one should keep his hands at the steering wheel!

The version of Emacs of your Cygwin distribution is:

GNU Emacs 21.2.1 (i686-pc-cygwin, X toolkit) of 2004-03-22 on cm-test

copied via the menu of the Windows console window.

The version of NTEmacs I tried to borrow the .emacs file from is:

GNU Emacs 20.7.1 (i386-*-nt5.1.2600) of Tue Jun 13 2000 on buffy

tediously typed because that kill ring doesn't interface to the Windows
Clipboard and the message buffer refuses to be written to a file.

Cygcheck reports DLL version 1.5.12 Build date: Wed Nov 10 08:34:47 EST
2004 Shared id: cygwin1S4.

Package information reveals:

cygwin 1.5.12-1

emacs 21.2-13

NTEmacs 20.7.1 also reveals my OS version, but misses to detect SP2 of 

It happily ran on NT4 and W2k before. Only some "dirty" Win-16 programs
stopped working after NT4, most notably dBase V, dBase IV runs fine, 
have "cleaned" up the Win-16 API in W2k and XP.

Also almost all key bindings work, you can turn off the reservation of 
Windows key combinations in the properties of a *.PIF file, but nowhere

Emacs 21.2.1 surprisingly ignores some traditional key bindings that 
are not
affected by pc-bindings-mode or related modes on older Emacsen, most
notably "C-x C-c", but also "C-@" and "C-SPC" which self-insert 
the "@" and
"SPC" instead of setting the mark. Happens both in the Cygwin console
window and in emacs-nox.

Copying the .emacs file over to Cygwin's place resulted in a spate of 
messages during Emacs 21.2.1 startup, I'd rather expected a few from 
system references which are only three in two commands.

Aye, I can fire up both and tediously browse both customisation trees 
by one, but I'd prefer a tool that takes the old .emacs file and 
it to the new format. Perhaps in a "migrate.el(c)?" thus using Emacs'

Note I am myself a former serviceman for mission-critical embedded
computers. I got my money by helping my customers to get back into 
as fast as possible.

Thus tools like that suggested are not only helpful for the uninitiated
beginner, especially under Windows, which hath made all nightmares of 
CLI hackers like me (30 years practical experience) back in old Apple 
days come true.

But also professionals that have to achieve their results quickly. 
too much time will fall back on the serviceman instead of his boss
depriving him of decent tools. Maintaining price lists is a nightmare
through masks instead of using an equivalent of dBase' BROWSE command
albeit such a table doesn't need transactional integrity otherwise 
by the tax office. This is called "principles of proper accounting".

Software is an infrastructure and file formats are alphabets, the Latin
alphabet you read here has been invented as "ABC" over 2,000 years ago,
"abc" about 1,200 years ago in nearby Aix-la-Chapelle, and "123" 
via Adam Riese's book about 500 years ago. Efforts are taken to rescue
documents on chlorinate-bleached paper which starts to rot away after 
years of storage, let alone the bookworms.

Exactly this should be the mission of OpenSource, Billy might get away
locking all the world's documents into his formats, it might backfire 
after he got full Alzheimer. After me the flood!

Kind Regards

Norbert Grün (address@hidden) not overflooded with spam from
newsgroup posts :-)


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