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Re: How to get rid of *GNU Emacs* buffer on start-up?


From: Richard Riley
Subject: Re: How to get rid of *GNU Emacs* buffer on start-up?
Date: Mon, 29 Sep 2008 16:32:46 +0200
User-agent: Gnus/5.110011 (No Gnus v0.11) Emacs/22.2 (gnu/linux)

rustom <address@hidden> writes:

> On Sep 29, 7:34 am, stan <address@hidden> wrote:
>>
>> Actually no, I don't know any young people who use emacs and most older
>> folks were more interested in getting their hands dirty so to speak.
>>
>> I understand. I do wonder where this idea that emacs needs to be
>> competitive in the market comes from. I don't see that it really matters
>> much to current users. People who use it will continue and developers
>> will continue to maintain. Why does the number of users matter?
>
> I studied computer science in '84 -- and I am an addicted user of
> emacs. In '94 I even tried to write a mode like comint before there
> was (or I knew of) comint.
>
> I mention these things upfront so that you know my vintage and where I
> am coming from.
>
> You say that emacs does not need new users and does not need to be
> competitive in the market-place.
> From 84 to now Ive seen a lot of things come and go. Many of the
> things that went were probably replaced by 'better' things..... But
> not always. Consider for example:
>
> -- APL is dead.  Those who say Java (or whatever) is superior to APL,
> have never used it. APL and Scheme were some of my most epiphanic
> experiences.
> -- Lisp is not dead but is not doing too well. emacs is responsible
> both for its liveness and its ill-health. emacs-lisp was obsolete in
> the mid-80s when common lisp and scheme replaced lisp. Anyhow this is
> not my main point...
> -- Norton/midnight commander etc are gone. Now we have windows
> explorer and clones. Anyone whose used both will know what a drop in
> productivity that is.
>
> Well thats just a few things off the top of my head.  Others as old/
> older than me can make similar lists... thats not my main point.
>
> The emacs devs who make and maintain emacs are doing a great service.
> I am personally beholden to them. But let me just ask -- What is their
> average age?  More importantly, is this average age static or
> increasing?
> I dont know the answer to these questions but from my guestimates,
> emacs will be dead in 10 years. (rms already cannot type).

I dont think that will happen. It will not "die" but it certainly needs
an injection of new users to motivate the troops once more. There are
wonderful things being done by a new breed but more are necessary
IMO. Look at the work by Sacha Chua, Lennart Borgman, Tassilo Horn,
Carsten Dominic, Bastien Guerry to name a few of the more prominent and
talented Emacs hackers and evangelists. Emacs is being used in fewer and
fewer development houses as far as my observations go. And this has led
to pretty much a freeze in improvements to ecb and cedet for
example. And this leaves emacs way behind in the functionality stakes
when it comes to things like context API help, auto completion and
similar. I might be mistaken and missed something there but it just
seems that way. One tool which I love from these developers is nxhtml
and the other is the wonderul org-mode.

>
> So...
>
> I agree with Xah though he unfortunately loses his punch by punching
> too hard.
>
> So let me restate his argument (in civilised language):
>
> -- When emacs starts up it shows a buffer in Lisp interaction mode.
> To what percentage of actual/wannabe emacs users is this mode
> meaningful?

Guess? 1% if that. People who need a scratch can write some elisp to
bring it up themselves :-;

>
> -- Even if buffer-offer-save is on C-xC-k asks but menu-close does
> not. Is this not a bug?

I would agree with your post 100%.

The "I'm alright Jack" posts do nothing to help and would horrify the
originators of such code who invested their time and effort with the
intent of getting the message out to a bigger public and create a self
momentum which would lead to bigger and better things.

Lack of interest has already seen quite a few projects go stale.

regards

r.


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