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Learning GNU Emacs
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Learning GNU Emacs [Format Kindle]

James Elliott , Eric S. Raymond , Marc Loy , Debra Cameron , Bill Rosenblatt

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GNU Emacs is the most popular and widespread of the Emacs family of editors. It is also the most powerful and flexible. Unlike all other text editors, GNU Emacs is a complete working environment--you can stay within Emacs all day without leaving. Learning GNU Emacs, 3rd Edition tells readers how to get started with the GNU Emacs editor. It is a thorough guide that will also "grow" with you: as you become more proficient, this book will help you learn how to use Emacs more effectively. It takes you from basic Emacs usage (simple text editing) to moderately complicated customization and programming.The third edition of Learning GNU Emacs describes Emacs 21.3 from the ground up, including new user interface features such as an icon-based toolbar and an interactive interface to Emacs customization. A new chapter details how to install and run Emacs on Mac OS X, Windows, and Linux, including tips for using Emacs effectively on those platforms.Learning GNU Emacs, third edition, covers:

  • How to edit files with Emacs
  • Using the operating system shell through Emacs
  • How to use multiple buffers, windows, and frames
  • Customizing Emacs interactively and through startup files
  • Writing macros to circumvent repetitious tasks
  • Emacs as a programming environment for Java, C++, and Perl, among others
  • Using Emacs as an integrated development environment (IDE)
  • Integrating Emacs with CVS, Subversion and other change control systems for projects with multiple developers
  • Writing HTML, XHTML, and XML with Emacs
  • The basics of Emacs Lisp
The book is aimed at new Emacs users, whether or not they are programmers. Also useful for readers switching from other Emacs implementations to GNU Emacs.

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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur (beta) 4.4 étoiles sur 5  28 commentaires
59 internautes sur 68 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Could be larger still 14 juillet 2000
Par Steve Wainstead - Publié sur
Format:Broché|Achat vérifié
You will become functionally literate in Emacs with this book. It's large and friendly, unlike Emacs, and you have to dedicate a lot of time to learning this lovable, beastly editor. (Emacs is not so much a text editor as an IDE + calendar + interface to Unix tools rolled into one).
Learning Emacs to its very core is a good education for any programmer... I can't imagine a benefit to any non-programmer (or non-technical person) in this day and age (Emacs dates back to the 1970's, technology-wise). Its extensibility is indeed legendary, but RMAIL is simply not as good as a dozen other mail clients; Gnus cannot compare to Netscape's news reader or rtin; w3 is not as good as Lynx for plain-text Web surfing; buffers are nice but I find 'screen' to be a better tool, and 'vi' faster for just plain text editing.
The advantage is Emacs can do all of these together, with major and minor modes providing the hooks (pun intended) to integrate the work. Emacs is a jack of all trades and master of... a few, at least.
All that said, I found the lack of regular expression search/replace examples mystifying, no discussion at all of registers or the mark ring, and after reading the *whole thing* I still wanted more. Maybe more major modes for the next edition? :-)
16 internautes sur 16 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Doesn't cover everything, but I've been using Emacs for 3 years and learned a lot here 3 février 2006
Par Christopher Culver - Publié sur
LEARNING GNU EMACS is an introduction to the most powerful text editor ever made, a fully-programmable environment that through contributions from thousands has become something of an operating system in itself. This third edition covers all the new enhancements made in version 21.3.

The book begins with an introduction to Emacs as it : a text editor. It gives basic commands for moving around, describes the look of the user interface, teaches how to search and replace, and how to make simple (and not-so-simple) macros. But Emacs isn't just a simple text editor, it also has extensions to do everything from drawing simple pictures to managing your schedule. In the next portion the book describes among other things Dired, the Emacs file manager, the calendar and diary functions, and how to execute commands from within Emacs.

Since Emacs functions as an integrated-development environment for many programming languages, a fairly large portion of the book focus on how Emacs can help the software developer. Concerning markup languages, this new edition covers the excellent nxml mode for XML documents, and in terms of computer languages it describes modes for C, C++, Java, Perl, SQL, and Lisp. Unfortunately, the Python mode is not discussed. An entire chapter is devoted to Emacs' interface to version control systems like CVS.

The book doesn't aim itself at only a beginner's market. It teaches one already proficient in editing to customize Emacs. At the simplest, this means tinkering with one's "~/.emacs" file, but it also includes using the power of Lisp to change all aspects of Emacs.

This book could only be perfect if it were twice as large as it is now, since Emacs has so much in it. I think it a pity that the book doesn't cover Gnus, a mail and news reader that takes advantage of Emacs' scriptable nature to offer immense configurability and power. In fact, it doesn't cover the popular Mew mail reader or Emacs' limited built-in mail reader at all. Also, the bit on search and replace doesn't give any small intro to regular expressions.

Emacs is not for everyone, and even with a fine book like this some people are not going to like it. But if you are comfortable doing basic editing with Emacs, and want to maximize your efficiency, then LEARNING GNU EMACS can help.
19 internautes sur 21 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 An excellent book for most Emacs users 14 février 2001
Par Un client - Publié sur
I have been a vi user for a long time (6 years) and never thought I needed an alternative. This book has shown me the wonderful world of Emacs and its many modes. For very fast editing of text files and search/replace operations, vi is still the best. But for anything else, Emacs is a real time saver. I work a lot with the Fortran and LaTeX modes (with the AUCTeX package) and they both have saved me countless keystrokes, particularly with LaTeX. I find it convenient to keep this book nearby for reference as Emacs' has far too many commands to keep in one's head. It is *certainly* a very good introductory and reference book to Emacs. I will not write Lisp code in my life and the information given here is sufficient for me. Another user has mentioned that rtin and Lynx are better, but most often, you have install another dozen packages before you can use them (atleast if you *don't* use a Linux machine). Gnus works well enough for my occasional newsreading. I highly recommend this book for the 95% that are not too interested in heavy customization or esoteric uses. I most certainly will buy an extra copy to keep as a reference.
14 internautes sur 15 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Respects the intellect of one motivated enough to learn Emacs and enables mastery of the tool 15 septembre 2005
Par Barry Hawkins - Publié sur
If a person is thinking of learning <a href="[...]">GNU Emacs</a>, or if they have been using it and are looking to sharpen their skills and broaden their Emacs savvy, it is a fairly safe assumption that the individual is motivated. This person probably knows their way around a command prompt, and it is likely that they are aware that Lisp is more than just a speech impediment. This person needs a book that offers expert advice without wasting time or insulting the intellect of the reader. <em>Learning GNU Emacs, 3rd Edition</em> is that book.

As a programmer, when firing up a monolithic word processor or graphical IDE to edit a simple script or properties file, one cannot help but wonder if these tools aren't overkill much of the time. For a growing number of users, the answer is yes. The tried-and-true text editor is enjoying a renaissance of sorts. One of the most extensible and customizable applications in the text editing category is the venerable GNU Emacs.

The tutorials and documentation for Emacs are abundant, but they often prove time-consuming and ineffective for actually <em>learning</em> Emacs. This book is a refreshing break from the documentation many have come to expect. Imagine you had a consortium of leading experts on Emacs at your disposal to teach you how to use it in a conversational, consultative style. That is what has been bundled into this latest edition of the book.

The extensibility of Emacs has been both a key strength and a criticism of the application. Its user and developer community have created all sorts of additional capabilities for Emacs, ranging from the impressive to the absurd. The authors have done well to judiciously select what to cover in this edition. For example, while Emacs does have the capability to function as an email client, other applications have long superceded its ability. The authors have chosen not to cover this topic, and instead devote the available space to learning Emacs' core functionality - powerful, efficient text editing. Other peripheral areas of Emacs have been left for the user to research after gaining their solid foundation on Emacs as editor and work environment, such as compatibility modes for programming languages other than Java and Perl.

This edition of the book uses the space gained by the removal of esoteric topics to flesh out areas of more common interest. Integration with the major version control systems has been expanded to include Subversion alongside of the age-old standards CVS, RCS, and SCCS. Coverage of support for Java and Perl has also improved, as well as sections for editing HTML and XML. Users wanting to tap into the power of Lisp programming for Emacs should find the coverage satisfying as well.

Perhaps the most distinguishing feature of this book is the chapter devoted to the use of Emacs on different platforms. Unix, Windows and Mac OS X users receive equal acknowledgement. The precautions and insights regarding Emacs nuances when used on particular platforms can reduce users' frustration when getting started with Emacs.

Even current Emacs users can benefit from this work. The mnemonic devices and conventions used in the book allow users to commit useful keyboard commands to memory. The memorization is further solidified by the exercises sprinkled appropriately through each chapter. Readers do not go for very many pages before it is time to be at the keyboard again, harnessing the power of muscle memory to reinforce the material presented.
9 internautes sur 10 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Update of a helpful Emacs guide 26 janvier 2005
Par Sydney Greenstreet - Publié sur
The first part of the book is a gentle introduction to basic editing with Emacs, then proceeds on to useful intermediate topics such as dired, shell buffers, etc. The later chapters give the nitty-gritty on advanced topics such as elisp programming. The book has the virtue of retaining usefulness to the user as the user gains experience with Emacs.

The book has been updated to reflect current programming topics: for instance, the section on editing Lex and LaTeX has been dropped and a section on XML has been added.

in re Emacs:

- Emacs has a devoted (even fanatic) user base. The reasons for that are worthy of your consideration.

- The Emacs editor is very good. The keyboard functions are well thought out. The mouse is not needed, which makes it easy and fast to use for the touch-typist (though you can use the mouse if you want in the GUI versions of Emacs). Emacs' programmability makes it possible to emulate other editors, such as vi, in Emacs.

- Emacs runs on most systems. Learn one editor, run it anywhere.

- Ironically Emacs, although having a reputation for being hard to learn, has an excellent on-line help system. (The help pages are also available on the web at [...] .)

- Technically speaking, Emacs is not so much an editor as an operating environment into which an editor has been built. Versitile applications can be built inside the Emacs environment which can interact with telnet, ftp, email, web browsing, etc. These applications can be ported to any architecture that supports Emacs. Emacs is much more than "just an editor".

- For programmers who are also Emacs users, Emacs Lisp (elisp) will become the most practical language in their toolkit. Automating day-to-day, keystroke-to-keystroke functionalities will save programmers from the tedium of their jobs. Emacs is tops for automating such tasks, and is my own principle reason for using it.

- Here are two well written opinions on Emacs, each discussing the pluses and minuses:

Eric Raymond's book "The Art of Unix Programming" has discussions of Emacs scattered throughout.

Peter M. Bagnall has a very interesting critique of Emacs at

[...] , where he contrasts the usefulness of its design with its reputation for being hard to learn.

- Emacs is free - you only need to apply yourself to access an enormous amount of programming capability and editing power.

- Richard Stallman's strongly expressed opinions about ... everything. I don't go along with him on many things, but I am grateful to him for Emacs.
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