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Re: Do we need a "Stevens" book?


From: Richard Riley
Subject: Re: Do we need a "Stevens" book?
Date: Wed, 28 Jul 2010 19:48:20 +0200
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/23.1 (gnu/linux)

Olwe Melwasul <address@hidden> writes:

> I've not gotten very far with this idea; no one seems interested, but
> I'll try it here anyway...
>
> It seems to me that Emacs needs a W. Richard Stevens-style book. As
> you may know, Stevens wrote the "Advanced Programming in the UNIX(R)
> Environment" textbook that many of us used in college. Or maybe Emacs
> needs something along the lines of the many "Linux gnarly/wooly
> internals" books. Anyway, I would love to see a book that got into the
> nitty-gritty of Emacs/elisp -- just like you see discussed here every
> day on the help-gnu-emacs list.
>
> Here's an example: comint. How do you effectively use comint? When
> should you use comint? Okay, I can Google around and find one-off blog
> discussions here and there about comint; I can read them all; I can
> get confused; I can kludge something together ... and then find out
> later that what I've done (as well as bloggers A, B, and C) is really
> not "best practice" use of comint, i.e., that how I've used comint is
> overkill or could have been done much simpler with <some other>.el.
> Wouldn't it be nice to have one go-to source/book that thrashed out
> comint usage once and for all?
>
> Just skimming through all the elisp material (books, Internet, etc.),
> it seems like a hodge-podge on a continuum between gems and junk just
> waiting for a clear-speaking Richard Stevens to whip it all into
> shape. Sure, the "official" texts will get you pretty far, but no way
> are you ready to be a "best-practices" guru. The printed books seem
> more like a "cookbook" than a real Stevens-style book. Maybe I'm all
> wrong, but I think I like what the Racket/PLT people are doing. They
> seem to be whipping the Scheme hodge-podge into a decent
> best-practices, best-tools order.
>
> Personally I've been admiring Emacs from afar for quite some time. I'm
> really an Emacs/elisp newbie, but I've got a writing/technical writing
> background. If what I'm saying strikes a chord, maybe I could be a
> receiver/collector of a "best-practices-slash-wooly internals" sorta
> book project. It would be a free/GNU sorta thing of course ... and
> please don't say "I don't think there'd be enough interest in it."
>
> Olwe

I believe Sacha Chua is/was writing something along those lines.





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