Hey, My name is Chris Green <email@example.com> with a webpage at http://cmg.dok.org though nothing much there is useful
Welcome to the wiki! – AlexSchroeder
XEmacs Versus Emacs
LawrenceMitchell - thanks for adding some replies/corrections. I’m still in the process of learning. A lot of this was just notes to myself as I convered my .emacs between the two flavors and ported some elisp
I’ve run into a bug in NoGnus?+XEmacs that has caused me a good bit of frustration to try and solve. This caused me to try and figure out if it was my configuration,XEmacs,or gnus so I had to try out regular Emacs. I’ve finally gotten a loadable config on both and I wrote down a lot of what I did in the process.
I’m keeping a running list of what I find different and since it may be useful to some other people, I’m putting it up on the wiki. If you know of a solution to anything I mention, please place it here and if people are interested, I’ll refactor into real pages.
I’m using CVS Emacs since it seems to be pretty mature from everyone that does a lot of elisp. CVS XEmacs has been too unstable to use.
- FSF does not have highlighting of region by default. They call it transient-mark-mode where XEmacs calls it zmacs-region (I believe)
- FSF has no right click menus and instead has some odd mouse yanking/killing method. This is very odd since there is right click menu in things like speedbar. It makes trying a right click a potentially dangerous user operation.
- FSF has an abnormal scrollbar ( right v. left ) fixable? gtk toolkit + (menu-bar-right-scroll-bar)
- You can set the scrollbar side with
- See the documentation for
scroll-bar-mode for possible values.
- FSF’s describe-variable does not pick up the variable at point. This gets very tedious when pointing elisp.. Actually FSF’s is smart (too smart?) and will no1t prompt unless you have a valid variable name at the point.
- FSF’s dired on tmp C-x C-f tmp~ actually opens up /home/cmg without displaying that in the minibuffer
- FSF modeline alters slightly going from buffer->buffer so that there is a visual indicator of what buffer you are in.. Useful.
- how to set the background color in FSF emacs?
M-x customize-face RET default RET, probably.
- That’s true… The problem I was color specifiers v. color names
- define-obsolete-variable-alias replacement for FSF?
- Would like a FSF replacement for:
(defun describe-face-at-point ()
"Give the name of the faces at point."
(message (prin1-to-string (extent-face (extent-at (point)
- CVS Emacs’
M-x describe-face RET picks up the face at point
- no resize-minibuffer-mode (though it seems to do it by default..)
- no mailcrypt.. no biggie it’s ancient and I use pgg instead these days.
- running-xemacs variable has become (featurep ‘xemacs). XEmacs should make that an obsolete variable
- FSF shows buffer position in debugger error messages!
- line and col # modes in emacs are displayed in tuples (L,C) rather than LX CX
- no completer.el in FSF
- You can download it off the web, and it runs fine. Other than that,
- C-h a is command-apropros rather than apropos
- XEmacs separates out variables from functions in apropros uses a 2 column mode instead
- FSF (atleast CVS) has very good support from running directly out of the source tree after compilation rather than having to install it completely to just try out a particular version.
- XEmacs has a package system… I don’t find it that useful to me but it does allow the delivery of xemacs-sumo. Is there a equivalent effort for Emacs?
- gnuclient and tty was one of the original reasons I used XEmacs but I’ve not used it much in the past years… In fact, if I have a emacs tty session, it’s because I forgot to export a display on a win32 machine
- See MultiTTYSupport.
- FSF uses tool-bar and scroll-bar and XEmacs uses toolbar and scrollbar. Info should atleast contain 1 one of the alternative spellings so people can migrate easily
- NoGnus?+XEmacs has a bug on XEmacs where somewhere after doing a gnus-summary-article-next-page, it corrupts message-mode so that font-lock no longer behaves. message-font-lock-keywords doens’t seem to change. OortGnus? doesn’t have this problem but the diff between the two versions has become gigantic.
- font-lock on XEmacs uses a property on major mode, FSF uses a buffer-local variable
- buffer-substring in XEmacs takes a 3rd argument of a buffer name..
- FSF with-output-to-temp-buffer also seems to turn on read-only because the default hook temp-buffer-setup-hook contains help-mode-setup.. which turns on help-mode. which then has a tempb-buffer-show-hook which then turns on read-only in help mode. This is a PITA to debug coming from XEmacs..
- No it doesn’t,
help-mode-setup explicitly sets
- FSF shows where primatives are defined and what their lambda forms are. Very useful.
- XEmacs colors the modeline when a VC controlled file is modified so you know from the modeline when the file is differnt from the default
- Interoperability is a PITA for your own packages
- byte-compilation + multiple emacs version?
- have a prefix directory for each version’s byte-files
- unique extension per emacs version
- .elc-version in every directory with files
- Lots of things don’t really need byte-compilation .
- That’s true. It looks to be very hard to change the .elc ( lread.c )
- FSF: (directory-files DIRECTORY &optional FULL MATCH NOSORT)
- XEmacs: (directory-files DIRECTORY &optional FULL MATCH NOSORT FILES-ONLY)
- FSF returns files and directories
- XEmacs returns only files by default
- seems that load-file is different from (find-file file)(eval-buffer (point-min) (point-max)) on Emacs v XEmacs. The effect is that you can’t expect a load-file to reload symbol definitions
- This is true, yes.
load-file does not redefine variables.
- This is deliberate, otherwise you wouldn’t be able to customize variables
- before loading files.
- FSF minibuffer buffer completion highlights the discriminating character in bold by default
- FSF shell-mode provies some nicer syntax highlighting for prompts ( ie: bold the current prompt, color the past ones. Color the arguments to commands )
- M-x dirs complains it couldn’t cd under FSF emacs ( my bug? )
- (require ‘pcvs) for FSF (require ‘pcl-cvs) for XEmacs
cvs-examine is autoloaded, so no need to require it.
- C-h C-i can go to directly to the top info node for a software package you care about
- Similarly, C-h S does info lookup of the symbol at point.
- Emacs has an odd verticle region next to the frame and the scrollbar that might be called the inner-border but I can’t figure out how to set the color of it.
- Customize the
- In fact, see the Fringe customization items in the
- Ah thanks!
- Emacs seems to use color names for arguments to set-background-color and friends while XEmacs uses color specifiers
- Emacs doesn’t have specifiers. In fact, it has far fewer first-class
- data-types full-stop. For example, while XEmacs has a separate data-type
- for keymaps, Emacs just uses lists whose
car is the symbol
- Tempo behaves differently under Emacs than XEmacs. tempo-interactive’s default value seems to be nil under Emacs. This has the effect that any code that you have bound that inserts a tempo-template will not interact with the user by default.
- Info mode under Emacs seems a lot more mature
- X11 clipboard interaction: XEmacs seems to interact with the clipboard and yank by default (though I might have customized this away a long time ago). Emacs uses
(setq x-select-enable-clipboard t) ;; consult clipboard on yanking
(menu-bar-enable-clipboard) ;; turn on the edit menus
- XEmacs dired asks on top level directory delete.. Emacs requires
(setq dired-recursive-deletes 'top)
- XEmacs man displays the manpage in the current buffer by default while Emacs displays it in a secondary window. To get the XEmacs behavior in Emacs,
(setq Man-notify-method 'pushy)
- XEmacs allows tab completion in
M-x shell-command while Emacs does not
Packages that I have to supply for Emacs
- backup-dir (BackupDirectory)
- defun prefix-region
(unless (fboundp 'prefix-region)
(defun prefix-region (prefix)
"Add a prefix string to each line between mark and point."
(interactive "sPrefix string: ")
(let ((count (count-lines (mark) (point))))
(goto-char (min (mark) (point)))
(while (> count 0)
(setq count (1- count))
Packages that I have to supply for XEmacs
Packages I like
There are lots of packages I really like for Emacs though this is a very partial list.
Commands I find useful
Every now and then, a command pops up that I think “WOW, how did I live without that”. Worse than that, I seem to forget about things from time to time
C-u g in Gnus to view the article in raw mode
M-x align-regexp and