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Re: address@hidden: Font Lock on-the-fly misfontification in C++]

From: David Kastrup
Subject: Re: address@hidden: Font Lock on-the-fly misfontification in C++]
Date: Wed, 02 Aug 2006 15:21:57 +0200
User-agent: Gnus/5.11 (Gnus v5.11) Emacs/22.0.50 (gnu/linux)

Aidan Kehoe <address@hidden> writes:

>  Ar an dara lá de mí Lúnasa, scríobh David Kastrup: 
>  > Note that this is all water under the draw bridge now, but
>  > historically, the creators of Lucid Emacs laid claim to and
>  > hijacked the name Emacs (without any further qualifications) for
>  > their own fork of it.
> As Stallman hijacked the name of TECO Emacs (which editor he did not
> come up with on his own, remember) before them.

Please get your history right, for example by looking at
<URL:http://www.jwz.org/doc/emacs-timeline.html>.  The name "Emacs"
came first into use for a system coauthored by Richard.

> Lucid is long dead, Ben Wing is working intermittently at best, the
> editor has been called XEmacs for a decade, the documentation no
> longer tries to confuse the issue; I have relatively little sympathy
> for paranoia on this.

The current XEmacs manual begins with:

    The XEmacs Editor

    XEmacs is the extensible, customizable, self-documenting real-time
    display editor.  This Info file describes how to edit with Emacs and
    some of how to customize it, but not how to extend it.  It corresponds
    to XEmacs version 21.0.

As you can see, the name "Emacs" is still used to refer to XEmacs.  It
is also used interchangeably in the manual to refer to XEmacs:

    Important General Concepts
    * Frame::      How to interpret what you see on the screen.
    * Keystrokes::  Keyboard gestures XEmacs recognizes.
    * Pull-down Menus::
                    The XEmacs Pull-down Menus available under X.
    * Entering Emacs::
                    Starting Emacs from the shell.
    * Exiting::     Stopping or killing XEmacs.
    * Command Switches::

So I can't really say that "the documentation no longer tries to
confuse the issue" is accurate, whether by oversight or design.

If you take a look at the node "Distribution", for example you can

    Getting Other Versions of Emacs

    The Free Software Foundation's version of Emacs (called "FSF
    Emacs" in this manual and often referred to as "GNU Emacs") is
    available by anonymous FTP from `prep.ai.mit.edu'.

So your contention that the "documentation no longer tries to confuse
the issue" is simply wrong.  Whether this is by intent, by sloppiness,
or because nobody bothers updating or correcting the manuals from
XEmacs 21.4, the stable version, I don't know.

But there are certainly more than enough instances where the XEmacs
manual suggests that XEmacs is a version rather than a fork of Emacs.

For example, in the node "Bugs", in "How to report a Bug", there is
only the name "Emacs" used throughout the whole node.

It ends like this:

       For possible display bugs, it is important to report the terminal
    type (the value of environment variable `TERM'), the complete termcap
    entry for the terminal from `/etc/termcap' (since that file is not
    identical on all machines), and the output that Emacs actually sent to
    the terminal.  The way to collect this output is to execute the Lisp

         (open-termscript "~/termscript")

    using `Meta-<ESC>' or from the `*scratch*' buffer just after starting
    Emacs.  From then on, all output from Emacs to the terminal will be
    written in the specified termscript file as well, until the Emacs
    process is killed.  If the problem happens when Emacs starts up, put
    this expression into your init file so that the termscript file will be
    open when Emacs displays the screen for the first time.  *Note Init
    File::. Be warned: it is often difficult, and sometimes impossible, to
    fix a terminal-dependent bug without access to a terminal of the type
    that stimulates the bug.

       The newsgroup `comp.emacs.xemacs' may be used for bug reports, other
    discussions and requests for assistance.

       If you don't have access to this newgroup, you can subscribe to the
    mailing list version: the newsgroup is bidirectionally gatewayed into
    the mailing list address@hidden'.

       To be added or removed from this mailing list, send mail to
    address@hidden'.  Do not send requests for addition to the
    mailing list itself.

This implies that "Emacs" is synonymous to the editor maintained by
the XEmacs developers: if you have a problem with Emacs, contact the
XEmacs mailing lists.

So yes, there is still a lot of confusing material around that tries
to sell off XEmacs as "the" Emacs, and even in the core documentation
of XEmacs.  So I don't think your characterization as "paranoia"
appropriate: there are good reasons still for Emacs developers to
cleanly distinguish between Emacs and XEmacs.  It is our project
policy, it is mentioned in the Emacs FAQ, and I personally consider it
reasonable.  I considered it reasonable even before checking the
current XEmacs documentation and seeing that it was much more
off-kilter than I thought it to be.

David Kastrup, Kriemhildstr. 15, 44793 Bochum

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