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Re: Android port of Emacs

From: Dr. Arne Babenhauserheide
Subject: Re: Android port of Emacs
Date: Fri, 16 Jun 2023 18:34:16 +0200
User-agent: mu4e 1.10.2; emacs 29.0.90

Eli Zaretskii <eliz@gnu.org> writes:

>> Closing thought: one of the largest advantages of learning to use Emacs
>> instead of any other tool is that Emacs can follow you wherever you go.
>> Whatever the platform you may (be forced to?) use in the future, Emacs
>> will be there and your skills will be an advantage. The android port
>> closes a significant gap for this. I’ve seen several people move their
>> workflows to proprietary web applications because “then I can use it on
>> the tablet”. Emacs on Android can provide a viable alternative to that.
> Thanks, but what you say gives the POV of an Android user, not the POV
> of the Emacs maintenance.  I have no doubt whatsoever that having
> Emacs on Android will benefit Android users; my doubts are whether we
> as the project should and can take upon ourselves this additional
> maintenance burden, and promise the Android users that we will
> maintain, let alone develop, this port for the years to come.

That’s not the view of an Android user (I do not currently use Android,
except as an offline two-factor device), but the view of a long term
Emacs user: It is a big advantage for me that Emacs will be wherever my
future life with computers takes me.

Having Emacs everywhere also allows me to avoid lock-in by whatever
platform I use. I may not always have the choice of the platform
(depending on what I do for a living), but by using Emacs I will be able
to preserve my choice to jump back to a libre platform without losing my

I do not see this as promising that the port will be developed in the
future — that always depends on a developer being interested in doing
that work — but from what Po Lu wrote it does not seem like a large
burden. And from my experience with Java (10 years for volunteer
projects and 5 years professional) 6000 lines of Java are not much. It’s
a pretty verbose language.

The main risk I see is in the toolchain.

@Po Lu: How hard is it to set up a development environment that can
create an apk from the Emacs sources — assuming no prior android
development experience? If it does take a while: are there ways to
reduce that?

Best wishes,
Unpolitisch sein
heißt politisch sein,
ohne es zu merken.

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