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bug#16423: Emacs Lisp FAQ

From: Xue Fuqiao
Subject: bug#16423: Emacs Lisp FAQ
Date: Sun, 12 Jan 2014 21:52:29 +0800


I plan to write/maintain an FAQ for Emacs Lisp (doc/misc/lispfaq.texi)
to complement the Emacs FAQ.  Here's a list of questions I can answer
(not complete, certainly):

* What is Emacs Lisp?
* What does Emacs Lisp code look like?
* Do I need to be familiar Emacs to use Emacs Lisp?
* What is Emacs Lisp good for?
* How do I get documentation on Emacs Lisp?
* I’ve never programmed before.  Is there an Emacs Lisp tutorial?
* Is there a newsgroup or mailing list devoted to Emacs Lisp?[fn:1]
* I think I found a bug!  Who should I tell?
* How stable is Emacs Lisp?
* How do I run Emacs Lisp code in a file?
* How do I start a Emacs Lisp REPL?
* What's a closure?
* Is it reasonable to propose incompatible changes to Emacs Lisp?
* Is Emacs Lisp a good language for beginning programmers?
* Is there a source code level debugger with breakpoints,
  single-stepping, etc.?
* Are there coding standards or a style guide for Emacs Lisp programs?
* How do I find an Emacs Lisp library to perform task X?
* How do I test a Emacs Lisp program or component?
* How do I profile my Emacs Lisp programs?
* How do I program using threads?[fn:2]
* How do I generate random numbers in Emacs Lisp?
* How can I copy a file?
* How do I reverse a string?
* What's "load-path"?
* How to contribute to this FAQ?

And I have another question: Are there copyright restrictions on the use
of Emacs Lisp?[fn:3]  But AFAIK RMS hasn't given us an answer yet.

Suggestions and new questions are welcome.  Comments?

PS: Glenn said[fn:4] that "the Emacs FAQ is extremely crufty and hardly
likely to answer any question frequently asked today", so I also want to
improve that FAQ.  I'll make it contain real Frequently Asked Questions,
not ones which just sound likely, and with clearly phrased, actionable
information for each question.  But that should be discussed in another
thread, I think.


[fn:1] Currently, we have help-gnu-emacs (and gnu.emacs.help, of course)
       for getting help with using or installing GNU Emacs.  Does it
       make sense to create a seperate mailing list for Emacs Lisp?

[fn:2] Mention the `concurrency' branch here, maybe?

[fn:3] http://lists.gnu.org/archive/html/emacs-devel/2008-04/msg01368.html

[fn:4] http://debbugs.gnu.org/cgi/bugreport.cgi?bug=13401#14


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