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Re: `woman' can't be used outside emacs?

From: Tim X
Subject: Re: `woman' can't be used outside emacs?
Date: Fri, 22 Dec 2006 04:34:01 +1100
User-agent: Gnus/5.11 (Gnus v5.11) Emacs/22.0.91 (gnu/linux)

Ronald <address@hidden> writes:

> Eli Zaretskii wrote:
>>> From: Ronald <address@hidden>
>>> Newsgroups:
>>> Date: Wed, 20 Dec 2006 17:31:25 +0800
>>> hope not...
>> `woman' is an Emacs Lisp package, so it can only be used inside Emacs.
> Emacs tries to do almost everything when it is possible.
> I can't understand why it does this way.
> Maybe I should learn some lisp first.

Its a matter of taste really. Emacs isn't (for most) just an editor -
thats why the icon often seen associated with it is the "Kitchen sink"
- as in the expression "Everything but the kitchen sink". Some people
think this is great, others think its rediculous. 

To put things in a bit of context though - emacs was doing a lot of
very cool stuff while many other users were struggling with quite
limited shells and window managers with very little functionality (or
in a basic console). At this time, it was really very useful to be
able to do different things without having to exit your editor or
suspend it or shell out to do things like check your mail, surf the
web or look at man pages. 

Others argue that emacs goes against the Unix philosophy of having
utilities/programs that do one thing really well and you obtain higher
functionality by linking them together with various shell facilities
and scripts etc. 

At a couple of conferences I've been to, they have had competitions
and games in which there are usually two teams - emacs on one side and
vi users on the other. These two groups sort of reflect the different

To some extent, with virtual consoles, window managers with virtual
desktops and the increased sophistication of many apps, it can be
harder to justify using emacs for everything. However, I like the
constant standard interface and the ease with which you can move data
from one app to another without leaving emacs. for example, I use
planner-mode quite extensively because it allows me to manage all my
project information in one place and I can easily create hyperlinks
from project pages to e-mail messages (VM), contact database (bbdb),
web pages (w3m), text files (bookmarks), calendar/diary, time
tracking (timelog), gnats etc. 

The other thing is that once you get to know elisp, extending or
changing emacs' functionality is so easy, its just simpler to do it in
emacs than actually develop something else - especially as often the
most boring and time consuming part of creating a new app or bit of
functionality is the interface and with emacs, most of this is already
done. I even know people that use emacs as their window manager under
X - instead of an exec fvwm (or whatever) in their .xsession file,
they have an exec emacs. As a blind user, I use a package called
emacspeak, which provides sophisticated speech feedback that allows me
to do things that under Windows I could only do with an expensive
commercial app. 


tcross (at) rapttech dot com dot au

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