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Re: Emacs vs. TextMate (not trying to start an editor war)

From: Xah
Subject: Re: Emacs vs. TextMate (not trying to start an editor war)
Date: Thu, 10 Jul 2008 01:29:34 -0700 (PDT)
User-agent: G2/1.0

You might try html-helper-mode. I don't think it'll beat any major
editor that does html, but it somewhat helps because by default it
does syntax coloring various langs that are used together with html.

I think fact that emacs doesn't by default support today's practical
need for html coding (often mixed with javascript, css, php, asp, jsp
codes), is a major problem with emacs. Web dev is probably the largest
segment in the programing industry. Adding injury to the wound is that
a good percentage of web developers, possibly majority, are entry
level programers who codes html/css/php. These people, when they took
a look at emacs, they laugh, and rightfully so. (emacs's obscure
interface, keystrokes, terminologies, made it worse)

(of course emacs fans will tell you about several elisp code on the
web there that does multi modes... but the sheer fact to shop around,
install, get them to work is a pain and rather not trivial.
for those interested, see

I think to have emacs work with today's web dev needs out of the box
is one of the most important need for emacs.
(see )

Even for working with pure static html pages, emacs's default html
mode is quite lacking.
The default html mode in emacs 22 (released in 2007), is at a level of
~1998's commercial html editors. (of course emacs has redeeming
qualities, i.e. its elisp system and all, that keeps us still sticking
with emacs)

Web development is my primary area of expertise. I have to work with
html mixed with css, javascript, php, perl a lot. Fortunately, lacking
proper syntax coloring isn't much problem. (after all, 99.99% web
pages out there are so badly formed)

One trick i do when i need proper syntax coloring, is just to switch
to that lang's mode. For example, if i'm working in a php segment, i
just switch to php mode. You can assign single-press keys to switch to
different modes.

One could guess why emacs doesn't have a robust mode for working with
today's html. My guess is that it's a bit hard to write such a “mixed”
mode possibly due to emacs infrastructure for modes, and of course
because there are relatively very few emacs developers, and there's
not a good tutorial on how to write a emacs mode (it involves quite a
lot elisp knowledge in several areas. I'm currently picking it up and
hope to write a tutorial soon).



On Jul 9, 11:10 pm, Cezar Halmagean <address@hidden> wrote:
> Hello,
>   I have been using emacs for the past 5 years or so and I've recently
>   stumbled upon TextMate. I love the way TextMate handles *web modes*
>   like integration of html + javascript + css in the same file and
>   I've always had a problem doing that in emacs.
>   I wonder what's the problem, why has an editor like TextMate gone so
>   far in just a few years and Emacs is still not there yet.
> Regards,
> Cezar

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