Document Examiner features? | emacs

Rainer Joswig
Tue, 28 Jul 1998 02:08:30 +0200

At 19:14 Uhr -0800 26.07.1998, kr wrote:

>well, but it would not be too hard to improve emacs a bit, as most of the infrastructure for this particular feature is in place. for certain commands, emacs already can create temporary split windows, which vanish again after they are no longer needed, for example when doing command name completion, where the multiple possibilities are temporarily displayed.

Sure it *could*. It doesn't. Right now I find it puzzling at best.

>xemacs (at least) also has the concept of creating separate frames (in X11), that could be used for such temporary information. for example the VM mail reader uses these, and they leave the configuration of the main frame unchanged - quite useful.

Still window handling feels clumsy in XEmacs. Developing
Lisp programs using XEmacs as an editor connected to a Common
Lisp is not my favorite one. I know, a lot of people see it
differently. But in my experience some Lisp IDEs are vastly easier to
use and better looking. From my personal UI point of view XEmacs/Emacs
are (to say it mildly) not very advanced.

In MCL for example the editors and listeners are different windows.
Executing code from an editor runs the code in the
top most listener. That's where the output goes. Handy.
And the Lisp UI works like the rest on that machine: adheres
to the platform standards and is simple to use.

In LispWorks for Windows running code from an editor
actually uses a kind of typeout window. Each editor has
an output buffer and you can get to it by clicking on a tab.
It is not that bad, but I like to see my code and it's output at the
same time. Additionally you can link windows (clicking on an object
in one window (say, a class grapher) will result in an update
of a linked window (say, an inspector)), which I have seen
first in the Apple Dylan IDE.

On the Symbolics I have some options: 1) press the suspend key and
a typeout window appears on top of your editor window. This is
a listener and the code below that is active - it is mouse sensitive
according to your input state of ypur typeout window. 2) You can get
a permanent effect of the above by creating non-overlapping
editor and listener windows.

>in addition, the advantage of emacs is that all the source code is freely 

As a Emacs user I have source. As a Symbolics user I have source, too.
Makes not much difference in practice. If you need an extension
you either develop it yourself, ask somebody else or ask
the people who created it. Makes not much difference to me.

>available, and anybody could do further modifications and improvements,

Even a bunch of "loosers" breaking the thing with "improvements". Sorry.

> if only they have enough need for it, in contrast to docex, which is not only not free, but now that symbolics went down the drain (again),

Symbolics was up last time I looked - two weeks ago.

>all of it disappears completely. it is just sad to see proprietary software like that disappearing in history, instead of being liberated so that the people on this planet can actually use and appreciate it.

Reality is more complicated than that, IMHO.


Rainer Joswig

Rainer Joswig, Lavielle EDV Systemberatung GmbH & Co, Lotharstrasse 2b, D22041
Hamburg, Tel: +49 40 658088, Fax: +49 40 65808-202,
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