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GNU is Not Unix News

Emacs 24.1 Released 161

Posted by samzenpus
from the latest-version dept.
First time accepted submitter JOrgePeixoto writes "Emacs 24.1 has been released. New features include a new packaging system and interface (M-x list-packages), support for displaying and editing bidirectional text, support for lexical scoping in Emacs Lisp, improvements to the Custom Themes system, unified/improved completion system in many modes and packages and support for GnuTLS (for built-in TLS/SSL encryption), GTK+ 3, ImageMagick, SELinux, and Libxml2."
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Emacs 24.1 Released

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  • I wonder (Score:5, Funny)

    by aglider (2435074) on Monday June 11, 2012 @09:18AM (#40282445) Homepage

    whether there's still an ongoing debate about "emacs vs vi".

    • by Anonymous Coward

      vi users have better things to do

    • by Anonymous Coward

      "Debate"

    • Re:I wonder (Score:5, Interesting)

      by vlm (69642) on Monday June 11, 2012 @09:23AM (#40282493)

      whether there's still an ongoing debate about "emacs vs vi".

      Sure. If you need to change one line in /etc/puppet/modules/apache/files/http.conf or whatever, its silly to light up emacs and make sure you had originally SSH'ed into the puppetmaster with -X for X forwarding blah blah blah. On the other hand if you're doing "serious" all day long software development, the emacs IDE remains superior to anything else out there, and far superior to vi. All you need to do is close the view of the world down to narrow little tasks and its off to the races.

      I've used both, but never interchangeably, they each have their optimum "area".

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        for X forwarding blah blah blah

        On the contrary, as a die-hard emacs user, I alias emacs to /usr/bin/emacs -nw when I'm not on an operating system that offers a version compiled without X support. Text editors, of all things, should respect being run in TTYs.

        • Re:I wonder (Score:4, Insightful)

          by knuthin (2255242) on Monday June 11, 2012 @09:40AM (#40282651) Homepage

          Did you ever feel that "emacs -nw" takes a while to start? Even more than vim or gVim?

          Referring to what vlm said: I don't know what emacs does or how it starts, but I guess it is doing too much of computation on things that make it an IDE (or an OS) than a simple text editor.

          • Re:I wonder (Score:5, Informative)

            by jrumney (197329) on Monday June 11, 2012 @10:10AM (#40283015) Homepage

            $ time emacs -nw -Q --eval "(kill-emacs)"

            real
            0m0.069s
            user
            0m0.036s
            sys
            0m0.012s
            • by vlm (69642)

              70 ms? I think you had it all, binaries and .el and .elc files, cached in memory buffers and/or you had another emacs instance running on the same box taking advantage of copy on write.

              Real world on a real machine a cold start of emacs is probably closer to 7000 ms than 700 ms. Just too much "stuff" to read off the disk if nothing else.

              • by jrumney (197329)
                The binary was probably cached. The GP was speculating about doing too much of computation on things that make it an IDE (or an OS) than a simple text editor. What is read off disk was not part of what I was testing, but Emacs does not need to read any .el or .elc files to start up. But anyway, a cold start on this machine is about 2.5s real time, including spinning up the disk.
              • No, but it had the "-Q" option, which is equivalent to "--no-init-file --no-site-file --no-splash". So you skip what takes most of the time.
                On a few years old dual core Xeon @ 2.5 GHz, I get 60 ms like this from a fresh start (nothing cached, basic HD not SSD). By removing the "-Q" to get a more meaningful duration I was surprised to get 360 ms only on a second run. And then below 300 ms for other runs with all cached in memory. Not as fast as vi or jed for sure, but very reasonable. Of course this will d
          • Did you ever feel that "emacs -nw" takes a while to start?

            No, because emacsclient [emacswiki.org] is the greatest thing since sliced bread. Launch an Emacs server at startup and then instantly attach to it when you want to edit something.

            • by knuthin (2255242)

              No, because emacsclient [emacswiki.org] is the greatest thing since sliced bread.

              No. It's the best thing since emacs. Wouldn't make any sense for it to exist before emacs.

        • Re:I wonder (Score:4, Insightful)

          by tuffy (10202) on Monday June 11, 2012 @09:42AM (#40282679) Homepage Journal

          A more common issue is that Emacs just isn't installed by default on as many servers. So it's a good idea to know how to use vi to go to a line, perform a search, insert some text and save the file at the very least.

          • Pico (Score:4, Insightful)

            by tepples (727027) <tepples@gmaiBLUEl.com minus berry> on Monday June 11, 2012 @09:51AM (#40282773) Homepage Journal
            That or learn Pico. Just about every shell account I've used has had either Pico or GNU Nano installed.
            • by Creepy (93888)

              heh - pico was always self explanatory and didn't really have anything to learn once you knew how to get to the menus. I used it a lot except for classes that forced me to use vi or emacs. At least learning vi had some use outside of vi (God how I love sed, and the search/replace syntax is basically the same). Emacs was awful on the machines I had to use - 2 minutes was a quick start for it in non-X mode, so I preferred vi. I liked XEmacs later on, but that took about 2 minutes to load on the hardware I had

          • I know just enough vi to get my favourite editor compiled & installed if I can't get a package...

      • Re:I wonder (Score:5, Interesting)

        by DdJ (10790) on Monday June 11, 2012 @09:48AM (#40282737) Homepage Journal

        If you need to change one line in /etc/puppet/modules/apache/files/http.conf or whatever, its silly to light up emacs and make sure you had originally SSH'ed into the puppetmaster with -X for X forwarding blah blah blah.

        Heh, I almost always launch emacs with the "-nw" switch, and when I'm installing it on my own machines, I install the "-nox" flavor of the packages. I've been using Emacs since version 18 back in the 1980s, and we didn't need no fancy GUI back then, and I don't want it today neither.

        You kids get off my lawn.

        (Still, I do fire up vi for very small very simple editing tasks. And sometimes I try to drive both sides of the flamewar crazy by running Emacs in vi-emulation mode.)

        • Whatever, whippersnapper. I scratch ideograms into pads of soft clay.

        • You'll want to remove the useless icon toolbar and perhaps customize the colors and size, but when you do that, it's just much, much better. For instance copy-pasting multiple lines with mouse from Emacs in a terminal window doesn't work properly.

          I used to be like you when I started with Emacs back in the nineties, but things have changed.

          • by DdJ (10790)

            If the day comes that I want to use a mouse for copy/paste operations in Emacs, I may give it a try. Today, I tend not to touch the mouse when I'm in Emacs.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Ed Avis (5917)
        X forwarding? You mean you've never tried emacs in tty mode? You haven't *lived*! IMHO, the days of having to use some other editor to make a 'quick change' are past. Modern hardware is so quick that starting emacs to edit a config file is pretty much instant.
        • by Darinbob (1142669)

          I tend to use emacsclient for many things, so my command line sends the file to the already running emacs window.

          For remote systems or those I'm unfamiliar with, I still use vi. I switch between them easily enough.

      • by drjones78 (961270)
        Tramp will edit files in SSH - IMHO there's never a reason to use vim or emacs server-side, when you can edit remote files directly from both.
      • by jonadab (583620)
        > If you need to change one line in /etc/puppet/modules/apache/files/http.conf
        > or whatever, its silly to light up emacs and make sure you had originally
        > SSH'ed into the puppetmaster with -X for X forwarding blah blah blah.

        You shouldn't have to leave your text editor and start an ssh session only to get back into your text editor again on the other system, just because the file you want to edit happens to be on another computer. It shouldn't matter where the file is stored, physically. If your t
      • by jeddak (12628)

        A real emacs user doesn't "light up emacs" to make trivial changes to configuration files - a real emacs user already has emacs running (with emacs server, of course).

      • I didn't understand you.
        Can't you simply run Emacs in text-UI mode or, better yet, run it on the client using TRAMP
        to access the files on the server?

      • Re:I wonder (Score:5, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 11, 2012 @11:38AM (#40284187)

        Please learn about daemon mode. [blogspot.com]

        emacs --daemon
        alias edit='/usr/bin/emacsclient -n -c -a nano'
        edit somefile.txt

        If you didn't previously start emacs, it will start nano. Either way, you'll have super fast editing without the need for vi. Of course, you can always use vi in place of nano - or whichever editor you prefer.

      • by DrXym (126579)
        I think vi's optimal area is in pattern based operations and doing stuff N number of times. The mixed mode editor was and is a fucking awful idea which was obsolete the moment that terminals were capable of doing stuff like moving cursors around, clearing lines, repainting etc.

        emacs has a far more sensible approach to interactive editing but is a big bloated pig of an editor, with it's own arcane terminology, obscure commands and maliciously obtuse configuration.

        So given the choice of editor for some qu

    • Re:I wonder (Score:5, Funny)

      by Baloroth (2370816) on Monday June 11, 2012 @09:23AM (#40282495)

      whether there's still an ongoing debate about "emacs vs vi".

      Nah, people realized it was silly to still be comparing a text editor to an OS.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by UnknowingFool (672806)
      This was settled ages ago. Anyone who is a real programmer uses butterflies.
    • by jonadab (583620)
      > whether there's still an ongoing debate about "emacs vs vi".

      No, that debate was settled back in the eighties. Everybody knows the answer except for a few total noobs like you.

      However, you're not allowed to ask what the answer is. You have to figure it out for yourself. If you do ask, some people will be nice and answer correctly, but other people will try to tell you the wrong answer, as punishment for asking the question.

      HTH.HAND.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by drjones78 (961270)
      Of course there is....

      But with evil-mode being such an amazing vi-like environment for emacs, for me, its really hard to justify vim anymore (even though I was a big vim guy for years). And org-mode rocks.

      There are some nice plugins for vim these days though, that have no easy equivalent in emacs. Syntastic, for example, just works out of the box and does a lot of advanced things that emacs requires tons of lisp twiddling to accomplish... but oh well.
    • Yep and it is sad.

      Maybe back in the 90s there was a reason for the existence of either:

      "Gee what if some poor programmer is stranded in India programming on a 386 where s/he can't use the much more convenient non-archaic development software".

      Well, now India has as nice as computers as Americans and Europeans do.

      James Gosling, the founder of EMACS ( and Java ) has even posted pieces on the web begging people to stop living in the past and move on.

      There are better things now than EMACS and VI, even free as i

      • Re:I wonder (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Bill_the_Engineer (772575) on Monday June 11, 2012 @10:34AM (#40283301)

        I think continued use of either piece of software reflects a rigid anti-change mentality that is stuck in the past and against learning new things.

        It could indicate that the editors are very good, perform their tasks well, and the new things aren't good enough to replace either vim or emacs. Why learn a new editor just for the sake of using a new editor?

      • I remember Gosling pushing to get people to move to NetBeans in 2008 (surprisingly a product created by his company, Sun). I tried it. Didn't like it. It felt like it wanted to be a gui rather than an editor. So I went back to happily using Emacs. So, serious question from an old guy and lisp programmer - what do you suggest as a replacement and why?

        • I get where you are coming from. I used EMACS in college for everything when I was learning to program. After school, I have used Visual Slickedit since it has the benefits of an IDE with the features of an advanced text editor.

          I've started learning Eclipse since I am a Java programmer and it seems to be a defacto standard in many Java shops.

          I've been very impressed so far. My only disappointment is the loss of a few text editing features, some of which have been replaced by this extension:
          http://tkilla [tkilla.ch]

          • by DrVxD (184537)

            I don't know how well Eclipse would appeal to non-Java programmers or people who do many different things

            It doesn't.

      • There are better things now than EMACS and VI, even free as in beer for the cheapskates who don't want to spend money for their career.

        That's like saying that there are better things now than mugs and glasses. Or like saying that potatoes are better than rice. You do realize that different things have different purpose, don't you?

      • by unixisc (2429386)
        Just b'cos it was built then doesn't mean that it's not capable of being worked on and getting enhanced features developed. Speaking of which, I just wish someone had taken Goslings NeWS as well as Display Postscript and created a windowing alternative to X
    • whether there's still an ongoing debate about "emacs vs vi".

      No, that was preempted when WINE announced support for Notepad.exe

    • by Zoxed (676559)

      > whether there's still an ongoing debate about "emacs vs vi"

      No: Xemacs won already !

  • LiveCD (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 11, 2012 @09:21AM (#40282465)

    Where can I download the LiveCD?

  • M-x tetris (Score:2, Informative)

    by tepples (727027)
    And I bet Alexey Pajitnov is still not happy about M-x tetris [gnu.org], seeing as he thinks free software destroys the market [slashdot.org].
    • by unixisc (2429386)
      Can't emacs add more games to it, other than just tetris? Stuff like FreeCiv?
      • by cpghost (719344)
        If you don't mean text-based games, how about a nice game of chess? [sourceforge.net]
        • by unixisc (2429386)
          For text games, why not add Trivia - that would be neat (yeah, you won't have the hexagonal wheel, but the pattern of setting questions by category can still be logically laid out. And for the simpler graphics games, Dots and Four-in-a-Row would be good. Beyond that, if they can, how about Monopoly, Risk, Stratego and Clue?
  • Honestly I'm frankly quite insulted to think that there was anything emacs couldn't do. Features? We don't need any more features. How do you improve on perfection?

    Actually the only thing emacs is missing is an interface more like VI.

    *ducks*

    • by vlm (69642) on Monday June 11, 2012 @09:30AM (#40282557)

      Actually the only thing emacs is missing is an interface more like VI.

      (insert gameshow Bzzzzt)

      http://emacswiki.org/emacs/VimMode [emacswiki.org]

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by tuffy (10202)
      It's been done. [emacswiki.org]
    • It now handles bidirectional test, so its market has extended to the users of several dialects of early Classical Greek. This is a must have feature if ever there was one.

      Yes, I know. Word processors which handle Hebrew and Arabic allow for changing direction, but this is associated with different languages.

    • Maybe Emacs next goal could be to provide a windowing system within its environment that would replace the likes of X11 7.7, or beat Wayland to the punch, all within Emacs itself. Then, whenever anybody creates any unix, such as a Minix, Tiny Core Linux, Hurd, OpenIndiana or whatever, all one would need to do is have Linux be the automatic application that starts up when one logs in. Oh, and add to it a set of shell commands as well, so that different shells, from ash-zsh just won't be needed. Everything
  • by slimjim8094 (941042) <slashdot3@@@justconnected...net> on Monday June 11, 2012 @09:28AM (#40282537)

    Eight Megabytes And Constantly Swapping, it's a great OS but it needs a text editor, etc.

    Seriously though, it's really excellent that such a mature project can continue to advance. Not many projects can continue to grow for 36 years

  • i was looking for an alternative to the abomination that will become windows 8....

  • Wow! (Score:4, Funny)

    by Chemisor (97276) on Monday June 11, 2012 @09:41AM (#40282655)

    Wow! Emacs now has more features than BSD!

  • by kriston (7886) on Monday June 11, 2012 @09:41AM (#40282661) Homepage Journal

    Ahh, it's nice to see GNU Emacs finally bothering to catch up to these ten-year-old XEmacs features.

    • by cc1984_ (1096355)

      Why is this modded funny? Is it because it's too true not to be?!

    • it's nice to see GNU Emacs finally bothering to catch up to these ten-year-old XEmacs features.

      I've always wondered why FSF Emacs couldn't implement a package system...

    • by olau (314197)

      I like the anthropomorphized phrasing - as if Emacs itself woke on one day and said, hey, I'm going to hack my Bazaar repository and implement those features that this other not-yet-self-aware fork has had for a decade.

      Note that for Emacs, a decade is just the blink of an eye.

      • by sl3xd (111641)

        Note that for Emacs, a decade is just the blink of an eye.

        I've heard that Emacs Makes A Computer Slow... but I didn't know it was that slow.

  • In this version... Support for Passport is dropped.

    Lame, I know. I apologise to RMS cs.
  • I hope it works in Windows 2000...

    • by tuffy (10202)
      There is an official Windows build which is usually found in the "windows" subdirectory on the official mirrors. There's also an unofficial Mac OS X build [emacsformacosx.com] (though the site is currently down).
  • by miltonw (892065) on Monday June 11, 2012 @02:33PM (#40286807)
    When I first started programming, I went to work at a software company that also provided consultants to their clients. At the software company, the editor-to-use was an editor created by one of their programmers. The editor was fantastic with many bells and whistles, customizable keys. Much easier to use than the common editor provided by the computer manufacturer.

    So I mastered this fantastic editor.

    Then I was sent out to my first assignment and this fantastic editor didn't exist there, I was in serious trouble. I had to quickly learn the common editor provided by the computer manufacturer.

    I learned my lesson: First become a master of the common editor that is always installed so you can quickly handle all editing tasks, especially in an emergency -- then learn whichever editor you want.

    I feel sorry for the emac-and-only-emacs gurus who, when confronted with a system lacking emacs have to flounder and misuse the always-available "vi" or "vim".

    No matter how fantastic your editor-of-choice is, if you get on a system without that editor, what are you going to do?
    • If your new Unix does not have emacs but you want to use it, then Install it. Or use one of the many editors that use the same key-strokes (zile, mg, tm). Heck, even nano/pico use emacs key-strokes for most of their operation. Long and short, if you learn the fantastic editor, you can bring it with you or use one of the lesser-featured editors that probably are available that map to your skill-set. To take the argument that "don't use X because it isn't guaranteed to be everywhere you will be in the fut
      • by miltonw (892065)
        *sigh*

        When you are a contractor working at a client's site, not only do you not necessarily have the privileges to install whatever you want, you also may not have the outside connections to download stuff. It also bad form to install whatever you want on client's machines -- and bill them the hours required to do so.

        Personally, I consider it an extremely bad image to show up at a client site and then whine, "I can't work on your machine using standard tools because I don't know how to use them. I hav
  • I do FPGA design for a living, and I will sing the praises of the vhdl mode [ee.ethz.ch], which is the single greatest piece of software for us hardware guys, ever.

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