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Re: Elisp LSP Server

From: Po Lu
Subject: Re: Elisp LSP Server
Date: Mon, 11 Oct 2021 15:34:56 +0800
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/28.0.50 (gnu/linux)

Ag Ibragimov <agzam.ibragimov@gmail.com> writes:

> Not quite. I'm not suggesting at all integrating with proprietary
> software. I'm merely curious if anyone has ever thought about
> implementing an LSP server for Emacs Lisp.  LSP is a standard and an
> open specification. There already exist several dozen implementations
> of Language Protocol servers for many different languages.

But an LSP server for Emacs Lisp would, for the reasons you have
mentioned, be used for proprietary software.  The ability of people to
utilize imenu in Emacs Lisp code on GitHub would encourage people to use
the proprietary software that GitHub requires.

> And many of them are perfectly usable in Emacs, thanks to eglot and
> lsp-mode. And that's great because adhering to the standard makes it a
> smooth experience for the user.

> One of the main reasons people leave Emacs, sometimes even after many
> years of using it, is the substandard language support.  They often
> have to start programming in another language, and it takes too much
> effort to make Emacs work for a specific language.  Simple things like
> goto definition and autocomplete often won't work as expected. People
> often have to learn a bunch of independent Elisp packages and figure
> out ways to make them work together nicely.  So many times I've heard:
> "I love Emacs, used it for almost [so many years] but I had to work
> with a language [X] and moved to [another] IDE that has first-class
> support for it."

> LSP, for many Emacsen has become a true game-changer. You don't have
> to re-invent the wheel for every single different language, no need to
> map and re-map the keys (separately for every language) or struggle
> when a language mode package authors fail to include some features.

But that's an example of other software being useful in Emacs, which
encourages people to switch to free software such as Emacs.

> Wouldn't it be ironic if soon, Emacs gets truly fantastic support for
> dozens of languages (btw, that list is still growing), yet Elisp would
> have to ride like a second-class passenger?
> I think creating Elisp LSP server would provide consistency with all
> other languages already supported.

How is Emacs Lisp a second class passenger in Emacs?  And how will
making a language server out of the existing Lisp support make that

> And as a side effect, that would also make it possible for better
> navigation and code introspection of Elisp outside of Emacs.

But is there any real use-case for this, outside of proprietary

> Personally, I don't care if a proprietary software vendor like GitHub
> introduces better features for a language that is the ultimate epitome
> of free software.  Their non-free software would still be written in
> Emacs (at least some parts of it) - the ultimate tool with unmatched
> support for programming languages.

Proprietary software written in Emacs is still proprietary software.
And besides, there is no reason to make the job of proprietary software
dealers easier.

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