On Sat, May 02, 2009 at 07:30:25AM EDT, Harry Rickards wrote:
> Plus, even though emacs does other stuff apart from editing, what can
> emacs do that a separate tool can't do?
It can integrate those separate tools.
The biggest non-editing things for which I use Emacs are its shell mode
(CLI command entry and output) and dired mode (file-browser functions).
For that usage, Emacs integrates, say, working out a commands on the command
line and then putting them in a script file. It also integrate navigating
around the file system, grabbing a file/directory name, and executing a
command or putting the name in a script (all without moving ones hands from
> Surely if emacs is more than
> an editor, it doesn't follow Doug McIlroy's UNIX philosophy:
> Write programs that *do one thing and do it well*. Write programs to
> work together. Write programs to handle text streams, because that is
> a universal interface
a. Why exactly would it need to? (Probably, not everything can be written
to be integrated, and the most likely candidates are the things that integrate
b. Actually, Emacs does (do one thing well):
It handles editing-style text manipulation, regardless of, say, whether
the text is the contents of a file or the output of commands.
For example, I can apply a regular-_expression_ replacement to lines of text
whether I'm editing a file or editing command output in shell mode or
compilation mode (e.g., to filter out output lines I no longer want to see, or
to edit them into data or a command).