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Re: Emacs as platform for the application

From: Thomas F. Burdick
Subject: Re: Emacs as platform for the application
Date: 19 Sep 2002 11:35:52 -0700

address@hidden (Artist) writes:

> Hi,
>  I would like to deploy emacs based application.
>  We have several users and I would like to put together the basic
> application and then add the functionalities as per need base.
>  This is what I have thought:
>  To put emacs on the server and have the users running that program
> with functions written let's say in perl accessed by keybinding.
>  Now my users are not emacs aware and I would like to suppress all the
> key binding  (except of course, something like self-insert-command)
> other than what's absolutely required plus binding which can provide
> functions written by me.

I'm not positive I understand your question, but I think I do, and
I've done this before: you want to use Emacs as a programming
environment for making a somewhat-editor-like application that's not
actually an editor, and you don't want your end users to need to know
that it's Emacs underneath.

To do this, you want to build your own Emacs; the elisp manual
contains an introduction to this.  What you have temacs, load in the
ordinary parts of elisp that your application is going to use (or all
of it, to be safe), and your application code.  When dumping the full
emacs, you can ctonrol what happens at startup.  Have startup start up
your application, and then you control all the keybindings, menu
items, etc., in the initial buffer.  If you don't bind ordinary
functions like execute-extended-command, find-file, etc., then your
users can't call them.  You get the normal Emacs event loop, the mode
line, minibuffer, and menu bar, but apart from that, you can control
things to the extent that your users don't have to have any idea
they're using Emacs[*].  If you're going to distribute this
application (internal "distribution" in an organization doesn't
count), you should look into the licensing issues, as I think it would
fall under the GPL (whereas if you just used a standard Emacs as your
environment, you could distribute your application seperately under
whatever terms you wanted).

[*] Of course, you should still credit Emacs somewhere, like an About
box that says "this application is built on GNU Emacs" -- but you can
control the application to the extent that your users won't need to
realize this.

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