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Re: Emacs 21 or snapshot?

From: David Kastrup
Subject: Re: Emacs 21 or snapshot?
Date: Sat, 12 May 2007 11:55:27 +0200
User-agent: Gnus/5.11 (Gnus v5.11) Emacs/22.0.98 (gnu/linux)

Xavier Maillard <address@hidden> writes:

>    > Though I concede pretest and/or even the CVS version are really good
>    > for experienced users or people with already some GNU Emacs basics.
>    Have you actually _tried_?
> Actually I am running GNU Emacs 23.x for months now and before
> that, I was using GNU Emacs 22.x so yes.

I was not talking about the unicode-2 branch (there are actually
several not-yet-merged branches around sporting a suggestive 23.x
number, so it is not clear what exactly you may be talking about).

>    >    Can you point to any area, even a single one, where the supposed
>    >    "stability" of Emacs 21.4 leads to better results than, say, the
>    >    pretest 22.0.99?
>    >
>    > I won't be able to do that since I never ever had a problem with GNU
>    > Emacs 21.x on a GNU/linux platform.
>    Then you are not seriously using it.
> What's your problem exactly ? I am using GNU Emacs for all sort
> of stuff going from source code editing to listening to music so
> I am a hard long-term GNU Emacs user and I *do really* use it
> very seriously. And yes, I keep on saying that GNU Emacs 21.x is
> really stable and I never encountered any troubles.

Cut&Paste from other applications gets very problematic as soon as you
are leaving the latin-1 realm.  utf-8 (and other encodings) are not
detected reliably.  Unification of latin characters does not work out
of the box, so when you are editing files from different origins (very
common when replying to mail), the results get inconsistent, and
search and replace also gets confused.  That's one big shortcoming.

There are quite a few additions for new users: new default settings,
language-specific tutorials offered as help.  Emacs has full-quality
support for Windows and MacOSX Carbon, also for Gtk+.  The Emacs Lisp
Reference manual is included, as is an Elisp tutorial.  Files with a
size of 256MB can now be edited.

** M-g is now a prefix key.
M-g g and M-g M-g run goto-line.
M-g n and M-g M-n run next-error (like C-x `).
M-g p and M-g M-p run previous-error.

Temporary transient mark mode makes it possible to work with "active
region" commands without having to enable transient-mark mode.  This
is particularly relevant in connection with mouse selections: you can,
for example, mark a region with the mouse and an immediately following
query-replace operation will be confined to that area.

Mouse wheels work out of the box.

** When Emacs prompts for file names, SPC no longer completes the file name.
This is so filenames with embedded spaces could be input without the
need to quote the space with a C-q.

** You can now follow links by clicking Mouse-1 on the link.

Auto compression mode is now the default.

Font lock mode is now enabled by default.

*** The new file-name-shadow-mode is turned ON by default, so that when
entering a file name, any prefix which Emacs will ignore is dimmed.

And so forth and so on: wagonloads of usability improvements have been
placed into Emacs, and those are likely even more important to the
beginner rather than the experienced user.

> If I was not coding modes/packages for GNU Emacs, I would have
> probably sticked to GNU Emacs 21.x, for sure.

So why would that require you to switch to non-released Emacs

David Kastrup, Kriemhildstr. 15, 44793 Bochum

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