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Re: Why Emacs should have a good web-browser

From: Deniz Dogan
Subject: Re: Why Emacs should have a good web-browser
Date: Sat, 12 Sep 2009 21:03:35 +0200

2009/7/8 Fernando <address@hidden>:
> Hello.
> Sorry if this is not the right place, but I wanted to ask some
> questions to the community and expose some arguments.
> First, I would like to know if you agree about the reasons for having
> a web browser in Emacs (either as part of it or as an external lisp
> package).
> 1) One of the main purposes of Emacs is programming. Web development,
> css and JavaScript are emerging languages present a lot in the
> internet since a long time and now they are even extending to the
> desktop (gnome-shell, seed, adium themes...). Emacs has modes and
> tools to edit on this languages, but the integration is not as good as
> it could be if you had js and html interpreters integrated in Emacs
> itself.
> 2) There are very few web browsers that are comfortable to use in a
> keyboard-only interface. Emacs would be very good in this sense
> because its keyboard navigation is very usable and as it's designed
> for editing text, it will be perfect for all the form editing, comment
> writing and all the editing related actions you have to do often in a
> browser (editing wikipedia articles, etc).
> 3) Emacspeak  has turned Emacs into a very accessible environment for
> the visual-impaired and it would offer  these people a highly
> customizable interface to help them browse the web, along with the
> keybindings.
> 4) Emacs since long time has been one of the greatest tools for an
> operative system. During the Age Of The Usenet it was an good
> newsreader. Now that the newsgroups have started to die slowly and the
> HTTP protocol and Javascript are the kings of the big cloud Emacs
> should adapt to it.
> 5) Browsers are turning into the next generation Emacs! they can
> browse ftp, access IRC channels, check your mail, read pdf and other
> things with embeded applications, now they can even play video/audio
> as a core functionality, they are often used for editing text (web
> forms, comments in blogs, etc)... there's even the whole "Google
> Chrome OS" designed around a browser. Sooner or later they will be
> able to edit code (there's even prototypes for this already) when this
> happens Emacs has to compete or it will slowly die. Web browsers are
> turning into the main program for the end/power-user in a PC, when
> they reach Emacs in functionality I'm sure a lot of people (even Emacs
> users) would end up switching to hack Javascript instead of LISP.
> 6) The special features of Lisp and the extensibility of Emacs make it
> be the perfect candidate for an extensible and modular web browser.
> Current browsers are tending to improve their extensibility by means
> of "plugins" and "extensions". Emacs has since long time a powerful
> scripting that a lot of browsers would envy to have.
> - Emacs-w3m is not enough and it's not an Emacs module that can be extended.
> - Emacs/w3 was a very good idea but soon it has passed more than 1
> year since the last single commit to the git repository, it doesn't
> look very active at all (am I wrong?).
> So.. I just want to know what's the general feeling of the emacs-dev
> community about having an emacs web-browser and what expectations
> should we have in this regard, is there any other work being done by
> anyone? how much is the interest on this?
> Not long ago a new (alpha) version of Guile was released that
> introduced some basic support for ECMAscript, announcing that there's
> a goal to support up to version 3.1 of the spec. Would this make it
> possible for a (distant) future Guile Emacs to be able to have an
> efficient Javascript-capable web browser?
> There also seems that a bit more of work was put on the Guile elisp
> compiler lately, although it's still far from being mature.
> --
> Fernando
> (sorry for my english)

I'm surprised this hasn't been mentioned in this thread yet:


Deniz Dogan

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