[Top][All Lists]

[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Current Emacs Development (was: Open Hypspec with w3m)

From: Jason Earl
Subject: Current Emacs Development (was: Open Hypspec with w3m)
Date: Tue, 01 Feb 2011 15:44:30 -0700
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/24.0.50 (gnu/linux)

On Tue, Feb 01 2011, Tim X wrote:


> Sometimes I'm a fool! The main reason I mentioned my sight issue was
> to mention what an interesting package emacspeak is. This is one
> package whih shows what you can do with emacs and a little
> imagination.  Essentially, it adds spoken feedback to everything you
> do in emacs. As you type, letters are spelt out and spoken, lines are
> spoken and you can get the whole screen spoken. In addition to that,
> it has something unique in the adaptive technology field - voice
> lock. This is like font-lock, except rather than using colours, it
> uses different voices and voice pitch. So, when doing something like
> programming, keywords, constants comments, strings etc are all spoken
> in a different voice.  Sound icons are used to indicate various
> operations, such as saving a file or opening an email message which
> also contains atachments etc.
> Nearly all of this is made possible through the use of defadvice and
> lots of supporting helper functions. It shows that what you can do
> with emacs is largely down to your imagination as all the power is
> there.

I've actually played a bit with Emacspeak.  It is a very cool piece of
software.  It is strangely comforting to think that I could use Emacs
even if I were to go blind.

> There are a few things I'd like to see improved with emacs. I wished
> it had multi-threading for example.

I lurk on emacs-devel, and apparently Tom Tromey has a multi-threading
branch that is getting ready to be merged to trunk.  In fact, I think
that it would be merged already, but they've had issues with the Windows
build stuff.

>From what I understand this is mostly just scaffolding, but real work is
apparently getting done.

> While elisp is great for the main tasks it does, I'd also love a more
> sophisticated/powerful language. While I'm doubtful it will ever
> happen, it would be interesting to have an emacs that used something
> like guile or even common lisp as its underlying extension language.

I could point to work being done on this front as well, but I could
probably have done that 5 years ago as well.

I don't know enough scheme or Common Lisp to know where I stand in this
debate.  But there are certainly worse tools than Emacs Lisp.

> This has been talked about for years, but I'm not sure if we will ever
> get there. I'm not even sure if the way to go would be to convert
> emacs to something like guile or start a whole new system that was
> able to benefit from the experience of Emacs and maybe avoid some of
> the mistakes or poorer design decisions . This is not to say that I'm
> critical of the work which has and is being done - there seem to be
> very few decisions that have been poor choices. For the years I've
> been using emacs, I think on the whole, the emacs development and
> maintenance team have done an excellent job and I would not want my
> comments to seem critical of this. What I'm referring to is the
> ability to make better choices now we have the benefit of more
> experience and greater udnerstanding of the issues. In fact, it seems
> to me that there has been some reinvigoration with respect to emacs
> development over the last few years and things do appear brighter than
> they have at times in the past.

There was a time when I went actively looking for a replacement for
Emacs.  It seems that nearly every computer language ever invented has
spawned an Emacs-alike (or two).  Some are even pretty good.  None of
them, that I tried anyway, got to the point where they replaced Emacs
for me.

There are plenty of editors these days where it is easy (or even
trivial) to rewrite bits yourself.  But there are none that have the
traction, history, and huge code base that Emacs does.

> For now, I'm pleased we have what we have and am thankful for that.


Personally, I think that Emacs development is even moving in
approximately the right direction.  Not to disparage RMS, but he simply
was too busy (and too conservative) to really drive Emacs along.

All I know is that I would not even consider using a released version of
Emacs again.  The version in bzr is much better (even if it breaks


reply via email to

[Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread]