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Re: emacs documentation for (La)TeX

From: Brad Collins
Subject: Re: emacs documentation for (La)TeX
Date: Fri, 26 Dec 2003 10:10:17 +0700
User-agent: Gnus/5.1002 (Gnus v5.10.2) Emacs/21.3 (windows-nt)

Kai Grossjohann <address@hidden> writes:

> Joe Corneli <address@hidden> writes:
>> The main difference between info lookup and describe-function is that
>> the latter (typically) has links to the source, whereas the former
>> doesn't.
> Ah, links to the source.  That is useful indeed.

Well it links to the *documentation* in the source, not the whole source

The wonderful thing is that C-h f/m/c are internal documentation--it's
in context with what you are doing or looking at in a way that an
external manual--even the very good info manuals, can not do.

This is why Emacs is called a self-documenting editor--because it not
not only lets you peek under the hood to see what's going on, it tells
you exactly what's going on why you do it.

Try 'C-h k h" 

,----[ C-h k h ]
| h runs the command self-insert-command
| (self-insert-command N)
|    which is an interactive built-in function.
| Insert the character you type.
| Whichever character you type to run this command is inserted.

This really blew me away when I first saw it.  Typing the 'h' key runs
the command self-insert-character which inserts the character into the

The question that I think many people would ask is, why would
I need or even want to know this?

This is what sets Emacs apart from everything else in the world of
software--it changes the relationship that the user has with the
software and encourages you to understand and tinker with everything.

Emacs forces you to drop your illusions about text and to understand
that practically everything in computing is just plain text when you
boil away the fat and fur.

This explains the obsession that people who have drunk the Emacs
Cool-Aid have with trying to do everything in Emacs.  After you
understand that, say email, is just plain text, you want to start
using the power of Emacs to edit and work with. 

So if Emacs is an editor, for editing text, you can also think of
Emacs itself as a collection of text files (written in elisp) which
can in turn be edited by Emacs.  The purpose of Emacs then, (at least
one reason) is to edit Emacs....


Brad Collins
Chenla Labs
Bangkok, Thailand

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