Paperback: 536 pages
Publisher: O'Reilly Media; 3 edition (December 23, 2004)
Product Dimensions: 7 x 1.1 x 9.2 inches
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Best Sellers Rank: #159,590 in Books (See Top 100 in Books) #18 in Books > Computers & Technology > Software > E-mail #53 in Books > Computers & Technology > Operating Systems > Unix #53 in Books > Computers & Technology > Software > Word Processing
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.
If a person is thinking of learning GNU Emacs, 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. Learning GNU Emacs, 3rd Edition 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 learning 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.
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