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Re: Emacs is very special regarding UIs

From: Mario Lang
Subject: Re: Emacs is very special regarding UIs
Date: Tue, 15 Sep 2020 10:24:23 +0200
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/27.1.50 (gnu/linux)

Lars Brinkhoff <lars@nocrew.org> writes:

> Mario Lang wrote:
>> Emacs works with graphical toolkits on all major platforms, but also
>> offers a almost-feature-complete text interface.
> Emacs is a manifestation of the ITS user interfaces.  They all relied on
> text because that's all that was available back then.  They also used
> control characters, Altmode/Escape/Meta, and prefix arguments.

That is the history, yes.  However, what I was trying to highlight is
that it actually payed off to insist on keeping compatibility with the
text mode interface even after graphical toolkits were established
already.  I guess I am talking about the 90s here.

>> I am seeing Emacs as a platform to write "apps" in Emacs Lisp.
> In this sense, Emacs is a Lisp machine.  Not surprisingly, those came
> from the same place as ITS: the MIT AI Lab.

Yes.  A Lisp Machine with several compatible user interface modalities.
Which is just amazingly helpful to people like me.
I guess this is a case of "accidental accessibility" since many
developers seem to not be aware that they have created a perfect platform
for people who are typically forgotten about these days.
Thanks for that.  Emacs is a shining beacon in a dark age of canvases
and decorative user interface design.

BTW, things like EWW make a big difference for me.
It is such a time saver being able to invoke the occasional
link in a mail or rss article and not having to switch to an external
browser.  I am hoping the xwidget webview will not hurt development of
EWW too much.  Because the webview actually breaks the compatibility
mentioned in this thread.  It is only available for toolkit users.


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