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Re: Android port of Emacs

From: Po Lu
Subject: Re: Android port of Emacs
Date: Sun, 18 Jun 2023 14:56:38 +0800
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13)

Gregory Heytings <gregory@heytings.org> writes:

> Sorry, but that's wrong, or at the very least exaggerated,
> AFAICS. Termux does support input methods (see
> e.g. https://wiki.termux.com/wiki/Touch_Keyboard

Termux does _not_ support such input methods: it only supports on-screen
keyboard programs, which are only capable of entering alphanumeric
characters and symbols.  Also, that page describes the use of of the
Termux terminal emulator, not the X server which they are developing.

You can easily verify this by installing any CJK input method and trying
to enable it inside a Termux or X11 window.  Don't assume that everyone
resides in an English speaking country, or one where alphabetical
writing systems are commonplace.

> ), and Termux:X11 does
> of course support touch screen devices (see
> https://github.com/termux/termux-x11).  Please be factual, and add
> pointers to some external places.

Only in the form of mouse pointer emulation, which is unusable.

> I did not check your claim about "clipboard data other than text", I
> don't even know what that means.  I just tried to copy-paste a cat
> image from a browser (I tried both Firefox and Chrome) to Emacs on
> GNU/Linux, it did not work.

Did you try `yank-media' in a message mode buffer?

> And even assuming that minor feature would work on GNU/Linux and not
> on Android, it would make life of Android users slightly less
> convenient, which does not seem a problem in itself.

There are many other differences: the ability to open files provided by
the Android file-system API (rather than the Unix VFS that is
intentionally limited by Android), and the ability to run user-installed
executables outside of the Termux (or Emacs) home directory, just to
name a few.

> A single bug report indicating that "sometimes when copy pasting text
> in emacs-x it freezes with clock icon." is not synonymous to "more or
> less broken" in my book.

It is, because yanking text from the clipboard is an operation users
perform very often.  And the fact that it breaks, and Emacs cannot even
display an error message, because the Termux port maintainers did not
import the Gnulib modules necessary for Emacs to do so, points to the
complete inadequacy of their port.

Unlike you, I investigated and tried the existing solutions and found
them inadequate for my real-world requirements before writing the
Android port.  So before you reply, I suggest you take some time to try
your so-called solution, with the requirements I outlined above in mind.

Perhaps then you will realize how badly it works, and why users are
responding so positively to the native Android windowing support.

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