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Open Source Software

After A Year, Emacswiki Alternative Shutting Down 127

About a year ago, someone decided that EmacsWiki was outdated and unorganized, to the detriment of the Emacs community. So, he started a new wiki (WikiEmacs, choosing Mediawiki instead of Oddmuse, and attempting to give it a saner organizational structure). In the end, his project failed to grain traction, and it's shutting down for the greater good of Emacs: "I want to extend a big public apology to Alex Schroeder for my harsh criticism of EmacsWiki. One year later I see that stewarding documentation projects and nurturing a healthy community around them is much harder than writing software. I’m but a humble software engineer and you’ll have to forgive me for my misguided actions. I hope that something good has(will) come up from all this drama. At the very least I urge everyone who cares for EmacsWiki to try and clean up, extend and improve at least a couple of articles on subjects that are of importance to him. I know that’s something I’ll be doing from now on."
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After A Year, Emacswiki Alternative Shutting Down

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  • by joshki ( 152061 ) on Tuesday January 29, 2013 @08:00AM (#42724389)

    emacs is an editor? On what planet?

    As far as I recall, emacs is a conglomeration of a lot of things, one of which happens to be an editor...

  • by guacamole ( 24270 ) on Tuesday January 29, 2013 @08:14AM (#42724457)

    Well, the issue is that vi or rm, however dear to their users are mostly viewed as a tool, a damn good one but still a tool. But Emacs really does have a caring community around it. For example, most people in the Lisp/Scheme community use Emacs, and not by coincidence. Emacs is really a miniature programming platform for developing applications written in a version of Lisp, complete with a compiler, interpreter, debugger, and a virtual machine. Emacs's text editor itself is a Lisp application. As you can imagine, Lisp people take a special pride in this.

    Next, it was already mentioned that Emacs is more than a text editor. It's almost a complete work environment. In a typical emacs session you can have multiple windows, buffers, frames open for editing multiple files, running shells, interpreters, build scripts, info sessions, etc all running at the same time.

  • by bozhidar ( 2827439 ) on Tuesday January 29, 2013 @08:50AM (#42724657)
    I'm not shutting down the project on a whim, a lot of thought and discussions with members of Emacs community are involved in it. The content will be preserved on EmacsWiki and I'll continue to work with Alex and the other members of the EmacsWiki team to (hopefully) improve and clean it up.
  • by jrumney ( 197329 ) on Tuesday January 29, 2013 @08:55AM (#42724703)

    But when I can have a dozen xterms open on my screen why on earth would I bother doing it all inside an editor?

    When I can have a dozen ttys open on virtual consoles, why on earth would I bother doing it all inside X?

    Or more seriously, if I run a shell inside Emacs, then I have all the editing commands of Emacs at my fingertips. shell-command-on-region is an obvious one that saves a lot of head this/tail that to narrow down the part of the previous command that I want to operate on for the next command in the pipe.

  • by tamyrlin ( 51 ) on Tuesday January 29, 2013 @08:55AM (#42724705) Homepage
    Because there is a nice integration between the other buffers and your terminals. For example, say that you want to run a few commands in the same directory that the file you are editing exists. In that case you just type M-x shell to start a shell in that directory. (Note that this also works if you are working with a file on another computer via ssh. Your shell will then automatically start over an ssh session.)

    If you are running commands that outputs a lot of text in the terminal the search capability of emacs is really useful as well.

    Another use case is the integration between macros, text buffers, and terminals. Consider a use case where you are editing an HTML file and want to ensure that all images referred to in IMG tags are available at a remote location. It is then easy to create a macro in emacs that finds all IMG tags, extract the file name and copy the file name to a suitable scp command that you can paste into the terminal window.

    However, I must admit that I still have a few xterms open, but I find myself gravitating towards running shell commands in a shell buffer in emacs, especially when programming. Also, there are of course other ways to solve all of these issues (scripting, file redirection, etc), but for myself I usually find myself preferring to use emacs in most of these cases.

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