OS X Emacs

I’ve been using Carbon Emacs for my coding. It’s the official Mac branch of Emacs.

Just noticed AquaMacs, which is similar but “enhanced” to make it more friendly to general Mac users.

I tried it and my head exploded, because they remapped old-fashioned keys I use constantly (control-v to mean ‘scroll down a screen’). It may be better for new users but it was not good for me. Oh, and the proportionally spaced font — very pretty, but useless to me for coding in Perl, which is what I do in Emacs all day. Disaster. And new windows popping up all over the place all the time!

On the flipside, I also discovered Emacs-On-Aqua, which is based on the old NextStep port of Emacs, so it’s Cocoa-based, not Carbon-based.

Eh, it’s OK. I think I’ll just go with a recent build of Carbon Emacs.

4 thoughts on “OS X Emacs”

  1. I’ve been having pretty good luck with building emacs from CVS on my Powerbook every so often. Most of my coding time lately is being spent running emacs in a screen session on a Solaris box, however. Editing xsl with the truly incredible nxml-mode. It truly rocks.

    What I don’t get about this is that I use emacs because the keystrokes are the same cross-platform. I have built up a great deal of muscle memory and habit using emacs. Every now and then I see some neato IDE which all the kids tell me will grant me total leet-hood in coding Java/Ruby/Python/Perl/ObjC. I use it for awhile, the editor begins sucking within a predictably short period of time, and I go back to emacs.

    Anyway, enough with my nine millionth ‘why emacs rules’ rant. Ed, you’re best off with a recent Carbon build of emacs, damn straight.

  2. OK,

    the Ctrl-V key-bindings will go back to normal in the next version. We don’t want to replace the old-fashioned once, but just add Apple-specific key-bindings. Ctrl-V (and also Ctrl-C) was a bug, due to CUA mode being enabled. Similarly, opening new frames for new files is configurable now, and you will be able to use a nice non-proportional font that looks way better than the stuff that Carbon Emacs comes with.

    However, if you don’t need anything Mac-specific and you don’t want a mac-ish UI anyways, you’re better off with Carbon Emacs.

    Finally… I don’t do cross-platform. I take my Powerbook with me wherever I go. But I do use a lot of different applications, and just like you guys, I don’t like inconsistency!

  3. Hey, I would love to give it another chance, sounds like the next version will address most if not all of the things that bugged me about it. :)

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