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Software GNU is Not Unix Upgrades

GNU Emacs 24.4 Released Today 156

New submitter Shade writes Well over one and a half years in the works, the latest and greatest release of GNU Emacs was made officially available today. Highlights of this release include a built-in web browser, improved multi-monitor and fullscreen support, "electric" indentation enabled by default, support for saving and restoring the state of frames and windows, pixel-based resizing for frames and windows, support for digitally signed ELisp packages, support for menus in text terminals, and much more. Read the official announcement and the full list of changes for more information.
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GNU Emacs 24.4 Released Today

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  • Sounds nice (Score:5, Funny)

    by NoNonAlphaCharsHere ( 2201864 ) on Monday October 20, 2014 @06:28PM (#48190531)
    Now if it only included a text editor.
    • by xaosflux ( 917784 ) on Monday October 20, 2014 @06:32PM (#48190565) Homepage

      Ahh, first post, I bet you prepped this offline in vi for super-speedy readiness.

    • by cold fjord ( 826450 ) on Monday October 20, 2014 @06:49PM (#48190715)

      What do you mean? Emacs can emulate vi.

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        What do you mean? Emacs can emulate vi.

        That's the best way to use it.

      • The only important feature emacs lacks in my opinion, is the ability to run emacs within a sub-window of emacs.
        • I do that often, as it happens. I often test my lisp in batch, so I run emacs inside a compilation window. I also use Emacs in batch for some builds of things other than Emacs software. For this, I run make which runs emacs inside a compilation window.

          There is a widgetized branch of Emacs which lets you use Emacs as a widget and lets you put widgets into Emacs, so you could probably do it graphically if you really wanted.

        • by jnana ( 519059 )

          If the web browser supports Javascript, then you may be able to run Linux inside the browser using something like jslinux [], so you could compile an Emacs to run inside the web browser inside your Emacs.

      • Emacs can emulate vi which is emulating emacs.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 20, 2014 @06:54PM (#48190763)

      Or a systemd dependancy.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        so, emacs can't read it's own log files directly yet? I think we need vimacs.

      • Why should emacs depend on systemd when it can reimplement it?

        • i wonder how the systemd detractors who continuely argue its not the Unix way of doing one thing etc, react to this Emacs?
          • They won't react badly unless emacs gets pulled as a dependency and renames network interfaces. Which it won't do because it is not cancer.

        • by amck ( 34780 )

          Emacs works fine as pid1, as long as you don't expect X.

          (In practice I've done this with a startup sh script as init=/bin/ that set up stuff and ended as
          "exec emacs" but still. An old underpowered laptop as file editor, with tramp mode for remote editing, no problem.

    • Now if it only included a text editor.

      You can run it in the new "built-in web browser." They must have refactored Firefox to Emacs Lisp. Firefox can run java when you bundle it with the jre, and there are lots of text editors in java. So you're golden.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      But does it run Linux?

    • by Anonymous Coward

      There are some JavaScripters at work, and lately they've been going all gaga over some text editor called Atom. They were telling the rest of us (we mostly use Vim and Emacs) about how great Atom is because it's developed by GitHub, and because it's developed as an HTML and JavaScript web app embedded in a standalone dedicated Chrome process, or something like that.

      These guys tend to be wrong about most everything, but I figured that I should at least try Atom out on my own before making any judgement. Jesu

      • by znrt ( 2424692 )

        i had a ver similar experience. :) it was amusing.

        no, it's not viable as a heavy duty editor yet, by far. however it's remarkable that such apps are at all possible grinding the dom in a browser. the setup for desktop integration is awkward, but keep in mind that this is a pure standard html webapp. you can easily embed that thing in any webpage to be used in any browser, considering this fact both functionality and performance are quite remarkable.

        oh, and i'm afraid you don't know anything about javascript

    • it does now
  • Let the flame war commence!
    • our GNU Emacs car ran good in qualifying today. i'd like to thank the boys in the shop who worked for over a year to get the pixel-based resizing just right.
  • Emacs OS (Score:5, Funny)

    by ThePhilips ( 752041 ) on Monday October 20, 2014 @06:37PM (#48190629) Homepage Journal

    Emacs OS - I know it is missing a text editor - but does it support systemd?

    • by tjb6 ( 3421769 )

      Includes everything, including the kitchen sink :-)
      First editor I ever really liked, and my standard for longer than I care to think now.

      It is perilously close to an operating system - in stark contrast to the usual unix philosophy of small tools to do single jobs well.
      Aaahh!, I see the cunning plan. By using all of those small tools, emacs can do everything for you without ever needing to see the shell again!

      Fiendishly cunning, those GNU people!

      • Re:Emacs OS (Score:5, Informative)

        by ThePhilips ( 752041 ) on Monday October 20, 2014 @06:56PM (#48190781) Homepage Journal

        It is perilously close to an operating system - in stark contrast to the usual unix philosophy of small tools to do single jobs well.

        GNU is not Unix. :)

        Emacs is not based on the UNIX.

        It is based on the lisp machines [].

        The lisp machine have died, but Emacs still lives on.

        • by tjb6 ( 3421769 )

          It might not be based on unix, but it is strongly supported by tools from unix, and does it's best to provide you access to most unix tools in some form.

          I certainly first encountered it on unix platform of some kind, and it is (in my mind) strongly associated with various unix descendants, derivatives, and other hangers on. Including the unix toolset supported by linux.

    • by Greyfox ( 87712 )
      Did you try meta-x systemd?
    • by Anonymous Coward

      C-x M-c A-systemd (it's 2 lines of lisp).

    • Actually, it sounds more like the complete system to put on top of HURD, once that project has a stable microkernel. How's that going, btw?

      The web browser that Emacs now includes - is it linq, or is it epiphany/GNOME web? Or is it Stallman's wet dream of an offline browser that one can't use while online for one's own good & protection from Snowden's NSA?

  • emacs releases have been on a downward arc since 19.34b. Unfortunately that version won't build on any recent versions of Linux.
    I said this on /. back in 2008, and things have not improved.
    The problems are a mix of bloat and changes to the default behaviors.

  • The mirrors don't all have the latest version yet, so you can download here: []

  • Emacs is still my favorite programming editor.

    Looking forward to using this latest version.

  • by iamacat ( 583406 ) on Monday October 20, 2014 @07:36PM (#48191097)

    IntelliJ code inspection and refactoring features are so great that it's worth sacrificing power tools like apply-macro-to-region-lines. Maybe theoretically some of these things could be configured in Emacs, but work to discover the packages and create/learn keyboard shortcuts is too much for my patience. It would help to have "emacs distributions" with task specific documentation for particular use cases.

    • These distributions exist... (shameless plug: Aquamacs 3.1 was released today, based on Emacs 24.4). You're right in that its Java support is sub-par. Packages like JDEE exist, and CEDET has recently been included in Emacs, but you won't get out-of-the-box code completion, nice visual debugging, inline compile error messages and so on.
    • by AqD ( 1885732 )

      It couldn't.

      Emacs was one of the very first things to understand what you code, to be able to do semantic highlighting and real refactoring, and also the very first to have what you call "Language Injections" in IntelliJ. But these were largely left untouched for like 10 years, already dead when I was learning it, and today all these are nothing more than proof of concept and parts of its glorious history that might worth a place in museum.

      Until the core developers have better vision of text editor more tha

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Systemd had that since release 215.

  • by Magnus Pym ( 237274 ) on Monday October 20, 2014 @08:46PM (#48191543)

    I've used Emacs for more than 20 years, but cannot justify that any more; the source browsing integration of modern IDEs is just too nice and the editing goodness that is Emacs is just not enough.

    • by Phillip2 ( 203612 ) on Tuesday October 21, 2014 @04:25AM (#48193289)

      There are quite a few ways (too many, which is an Emacs flaw) of achieving Source Browsing. ECB is a nice example, if you like the full windows environment. Mostly, though, I use ido.el and projectile. It's very quick. Indeed, the ability to move between files with extreme rapidity is one of the things that keeps me on Emacs.

      The core of Emacs is very stable, and you get used to do things in certain ways. At times, you need to shake things about a bit and investigate new packages. While this comes with a cost, the benefit of Emacs is that the old ways still work. You won't get forced into a new way of working with each new release, if you are happy with the old.

      • Oh, thanks for the tip. I'm using ECB...sort of. I'm mostly just using helm to search through all my files and trying to force semantic to parse through my humongous project and not screw up the class referencing. :/

        Projectile looks interesting--I'll give it a shot. Any other stuff you like? :)

      • ECB has not been updated since 2009... and it was very slow & buggy when I used it last. It is based on cscope which has little support for C++/Java.

        What I don't get is: commercial text editors like Visual Slickedit have had fabulous source browsing capabilities for more than 15 years. Another example is sublime text. Why is this not a priority for the emacs devs, whom I would assume are hardcore programmers?

  • Start rant here (Score:4, Interesting)

    by anarcobra ( 1551067 ) on Monday October 20, 2014 @10:21PM (#48192049)
    Ok, maybe I've been doing it wrong all these years, but emacs default indenting scheme is completely braindead imho. (or should I say GNU indenting scheme)
    Of all the indenting schemes they could have chosen, they chose the one that is the most inconsistent.
    Generally here are some common indentation schemes:
    Tabs only
    Spaces only
    Tabs for indent level, spaces for alignment
    Which one do you think emacs uses by default? None of the above.
    No, emacs uses spaces for indenting 4 spaces, and tabs for indenting 8 spaces.
    This means that if you write a function whose name is at indentation level 0, the braces will be indented by 2 spaces.
    The code will be indented by 4 spaces. If you then start an if statement, the code in the if statement will be indented not by 8 spaces, but by 1 tab.
    This is completely braindead and breaks completely if you ever over one of those files in an editor with tabs configured differently.
    At least with the other approaches you can still open the file in an other editor and have the indentation levels make some kind of sense.
    • Re:Start rant here (Score:4, Insightful)

      by KingOfBLASH ( 620432 ) on Monday October 20, 2014 @11:15PM (#48192343) Journal

      Like so many things in emacs, this is probably easy to fix if only you spoke lisp ;)

      • Like so many things in emacs, this is probably easy to fix if only you spoke lisp ;)

        I can't thpeak lithp becauthe I have a lithp.

    • It seems to me that using TAB to indent is always a bad idea except in language where they are strictly needed.

      There are actually 2 ways to indent using TAB:
      (1) by giving each TAB a fixed width
      (2) by jumping to the next alignment column (as in libreoffice, word)

      The second method makes sense for regular text using proportionnal fonts but not for code.

      The first method is the most common and the reason why codes idented that way often look bad in emacs is because it interprets TAB

      • Emacs also allows you to add local configuration variable inside each file to customize its behavior.So if you do not want to change tab-width globally, just add the following to each C/C++ file indented using a tab-width of 4:

        /* Local Variables: */ /* tab-width: 4 */ /* End: */

        This works for almost all major modes using their respective comments

        PS: Slashdot insists for removing newline from the code above. More exemples are in []

        • by jrumney ( 197329 )
          Or you can put it in .dir-locals.el to cover a whole directory (including subdirectories that don't override it).
      • by jrumney ( 197329 )

        Emacs, like every other text editor I've ever seen, actually does (2). A tab character always indents to the next tab stop. By default, there is a tab stop every 8 characters. When all your tabs are at the start of a line, as is typical in a programming environment, the effect may look the same as (1), but try typing the following key sequence in Emacs, or any other editor which you think does (1), and see what the result is:

        TAB x ENTER
        SPACE TAB x

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Tabs are 8 spaces. In terminal windows and editors that don't misbehave like, gess what, Notepad, the code looks nice.
      I used to prefer that style, because it is the better trade off between readability and bandwidth. Bandwith still matters, if you do not want to uglify HTML.
      Then there are all the braindead people, editors, browsers, wo don't understand this simple fact and paint the sky in a tone of pink and argue with the ones that till think it is blue.
      So now I dont use tabs anymore. No arguments needed.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Even typewriters do it right. Redefining the tab width is like redefining PI to 3 like Linus said [].

        • What? I fist, Linus is a bit of an opinionated idiot on many things. Secondly, you've never used a typewriter.

          They literally had stops you could place anywhere on the carriage. The tab key lifted the movement ratchet so that the carriage would slide to the left under the power of a large spring. The carriage would stop when it hit a tab stop (a metal tab). Without settable stops, it would have been really hard to do tables properly.

          Even really really really old typewriters had tab stops. It was a fairly ear

    • Re:Start rant here (Score:4, Informative)

      by daffmeister ( 602502 ) on Tuesday October 21, 2014 @07:00AM (#48193853) Homepage

      (setq-default indent-tabs-mode nil)
      in your .emacs file.

    • *sigh* you can fix this in less time it took to write this rant; that's the beauty of Emacs.
  • Can it replace systemd?
  • Using emacs to edit code is like using Eclipse to edit a text file. :P

  • I expect the predominant use pattern for editors (in a console) is to be fired up to quickly to edit a file, save and exit, e.g. to commit files in source control. Longer term activity has moved out to the desktop and editors / IDEs running there - the likes of Eclipse, Notepad++, Sublime Text, Gedit etc.

    So I wouldn't be surprised if emacs does lose out to lighter rival editors that better suit the quick-fix pattern. All the power and flexibility and add ons that emacs has built up (and which weigh it dow

    • by jrumney ( 197329 )

      I expect the predominant use pattern for editors (in a console) is to be fired up to quickly to edit a file, save and exit, e.g. to commit files in source control. Longer term activity has moved out to the desktop and editors / IDEs running there - the likes of Eclipse, Notepad++, Sublime Text, Gedit etc.

      And since that was an issue with Emacs around 20 years ago, emacsclient exists, to load the file into an already running instance of Emacs, but otherwise act as a console editor is expected to (hanging aro

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