[Argh! I sent it first to the wrong address. But this msg also goes to
(This mail goes to xemacs-bugs and bug-gnu-emacs as suggested in the
Xemacs FAQ. I don't want to cause a flamewar, I just have a few thoughts
I think Emacs (either as "the" GNU Emacs or XEmacs) is some kind of
dinosaur of the early Unix days. In the last 2 years the world around free
software has changed SO dramatically, that a repositionig of this really,
really useful tool seems desirable. Well, I've just listed a few thoughts
in no particular order (besides the last one, which seems to be
-- Principal goal of development
Most of Emacs' functionality is taken over by the new desktop environments
such as Gnome or KDE. IMHO Emacs has always been a desktop environment.
You could have no window manager, just emacs, and you'll survive. Well,
that's not the point. Nobody is forced to have dired or W3 installed.
Anyway, I think emacs is finished in terms of functionality. It already
does too much. So I think extending it by still more extra features should
not be a primary goal, but rather internationalisation,
(OK, this seems to be done anyway)
-- Is it suitable for tomorrow's programming?
Emacs is clearly a programmer's tool. It's not a word processor, it's not
a rapid application development tool. It's a very sophisticated editor for
hackers. While the Unix editor's world is mostly split apart vi and emacs
(and some smaller things like jed, pico, or joe) I expect new tools like
KDevelop or similar RADs to grab a significant market share. So the
younger people who grow up with their "cool" GNOME desktop and the new
tools probably won't need Emacs any more.
Actually I don't know what to do about that... But we could end up with
emacs disappearing at some point.
-- Support for new Desktop environments
A useful tool like Emacs should support both GNOME and KDE. Support for at
least the session managment, drag and drop, and even look-and-feel
(I already thought about this with a friend some time ago (regarding
Xemacs and KDE) but didn't start because we weren't sure of licencing
-- There should be only one Emacs
Come on FSF and Xemacs developers!! See how the world around us has
changed. A new millenium approaches, why keep the old differences?? Settle
down, merge!!! Even if there are "irreconcilable differences" - we are all
engineers or computer scientist; reasonable people.
Regarding Richard's statement on code without legal papers: I read in
Xemacs, that it is GPLed. So what is it now? Is it really GPL (the whole
thing) or are there some open issues?
Anyway, forget about old differences! Let's give it a new beginning. As I
stated before, the market share for Emacs as an editor will fall
significantly as soon as real free RADs are out of the alpha stage. Having
to emacses in rivalry is neither good for emacs itself, nor good for it's
So again, please overcome the differences! If it helps meet somewhere!
Go over all details and solve the problems!
I'm not an emacs developer. I do programming, but in case of emacs, I'm
just a user. However, if I could be of help, let me know.