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Re: RTF for emacs

From: Emanuel Berg
Subject: Re: RTF for emacs
Date: Thu, 29 May 2014 02:55:09 +0200
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/24.3 (gnu/linux)

James Freer <> writes:

> I just wanted to know if emacs was going to produce a
> word processor plugin or whatever.

Come to think of it, perhaps that's not a bad idea and
some people should have done something to that extent,
I'm sure (because there are zillion Emacs projects) -
perhaps checkout the Emacs Wiki for "RTF" or "word
processor"? Perhaps those projects lost steam with the
Org-mode success.

Before this thread, I thought Org-mode was sort of the
Emacs equivalent of a word processor but turns out it
is some sort of markup system which sounds like another
markup language to learn - might as well use HTML or
LaTeX directly in that case, it would seem...

The reason I don't like word processors in general are
they typically rely on the mouse, or/and the cursor
keys, and/or the "Page Up"/"Page Down" keys, to do
cursor movement and scrolling, which I find moronic
compared to the Emacs way. Also, they use the CUA keys
(Ctrl-C to copy etc.) which I consider inferior to the
kill ring (killing and yanking), but not by far by as
wide a margin. Also, word processors are not
programmable like Emacs and the result produced is
proprietary or at best less portable. People tend to
fiddle with fonts and margins and God knows what for
hours just to have another computer or printer
view/print it with other fonts and specifications

> I'm not an IT grad and I don't find emacs easy to
> learn.

Being an IT grad typically doesn't apply to that as
much as those educations are theoretical for the most
part, however the same people that are on those
educations often have an interest for tools and the
practical side to it (or "obsession" perhaps is more to
it), so you are both right and wrong. But if you are a
practical man with an interest in how you do things,
and for computers, Emacs shouldn't be difficult to
learn, or acquire a working understanding of, at
least. How it works under the hood, the C and Lisp,
programmers in general don't understand, only those who
have taken special time and interest (lots of both).

> I use it for editing prose text as features I love
> namely; mid cursor positioning (very useful when
> typing pages and pages... irritating in other editors
> to constantly type at the bottom of the screen)

Interesting. I never thought (or used) that, what is
it? I can't say I have a problem typing anywhere but I
use a projector so when I have my head straight my eyes
are actually at the bottom 4th or 5th of the "screen".

> wordstar keybindings (still the most efficient and
> still popular with writers)

I never heard of WordStar - it doesn't seem to be
related to Oracle's StarOffice either because it
originated from a program called StarWriter. The Emacs'
keybindings for point movement, the C-f, C-b, M-f, M-b,
etc. and the whole char/word/line/etc. division is
obviously fantastic, one of the things with Emacs that
I always mention as it makes typing a whole other

> visual line mode (softwrap or whatever you want to
> call the equivalent) which few editors do
> effectively...

I used visual-line-mode in my early Emacs days but then
I got more into the "it should look exactly as it is"
so I switched to auto-fill-mode.

> my other favourite editor is gedit

gedit? Isn't that the basic editor you get with GNOME
that's hardly more than notepad?

> My gripe with emacs is that it takes a lot of
> learning. Natural app for the IT graduate. I'd love
> to have a LUG group where I could sit down for an
> hour with someone and go through a few things to
> reduce the learning curve.

I think you overestimate the IT graduates. Most IT
graduates have horrible taste just like anyone else and
they are not passionate about their editors. They just
use what's in front of them - Eclipse, for
example... Anyway, lacking a LUG you can use this
list. It is what it is for. A lot of the loud
discussion may concern coding and other advanced topics
but it is just what people enjoy to discuss. Very basic
questions are just as fine and people enjoy answering
them as well. Good luck!

underground experts united:

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