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Re: What improvements would be truly useful?

From: Marcin Borkowski
Subject: Re: What improvements would be truly useful?
Date: Tue, 06 Mar 2018 21:01:00 +0100
User-agent: mu4e 1.1.0; emacs 27.0.50

On 2018-03-06, at 00:05, Richard Stallman <address@hidden> wrote:

> [[[ To any NSA and FBI agents reading my email: please consider    ]]]
> [[[ whether defending the US Constitution against all enemies,     ]]]
> [[[ foreign or domestic, requires you to follow Snowden's example. ]]]
>   > Personally, I don't think word processing is a good focus for Emacs.
> I want to do my word processing in Emacs,

You already can.  Quite a few people do this, using Org-mode or AUCTeX.

Let me quote the paper about Emacs for TUGboat I mentioned some time
ago.  I wrote there this:

--8<---------------cut here---------------start------------->8---
Emacs, however, is used by many people to edit texts in human languages
(as opposed to computer programs), and has really good support for that
task.  For instance, while many editors have support for movement by
words, Emacs has also movement by sentences.  Another feature which is
a real time-saver is the series of transpose commands: for instance,
transpose-chars swaps the two characters on both sides of the point.
There is a whole chapter in the Emacs manual describing commands for
dealing with text in human languages.
--8<---------------cut here---------------end--------------->8---

One thing that might be nice wrt "word processing" would be making
yanking insert spaces at the right places.  If you have " ipsum" in your
kill ring, and press C-y in this context: "Lorem |dolor sit amet" (where
the bar means the point), you end up with "Lorem  ipsumdolor sit amet"
instead of "Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet".  Obvious, but annoying.  (I
even wrote some code to fix that and I've been using it for a few weeks
now, and I didn't notice any problems.)

This is the power of Emacs: the ability to write small extensions,
helping users with their needs.  I think making that easier (e.g., by
providing better documentation) is one of the best things to improve

Don't get me wrong, Emacs has excellent docs.  But if you want to start
extending it, you are pretty much limited to Robert Chassell's book,
which is great, but way too short and elementary.  (Disclaimer: I am
working on a "next step" Elisp book.)


Marcin Borkowski

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