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Learning GNU Emacs Paperback – Dec 23 2004


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 536 pages
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media; 3 edition (Dec 23 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0596006489
  • ISBN-13: 978-0596006488
  • Product Dimensions: 23.1 x 17.8 x 2.8 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 885 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #269,283 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Brad Camroux on June 23 2007
Format: Paperback
I find that the book itself is good and informative. Other reviewers have said that it is not advanced enough, but the book description itself says that the book is intended for new Emacs users.

I must say, though, that it is a little frustrating to read. I thought the copy editors at O'Reilly would be more on-the-ball; obviously I was mistaken. Even within the first fifty (50) pages, there are numerous formatting, spelling, and punctuation errors. Also, I have found mis-matched parentheses, something that definitely would have been caught if the authors wrote the manuscript using Emacs. I suppose I expected better from a book that has Eric Raymond as one of the authors.

Overall it is a good book, and a useful reference. I have learned a lot, and will continue learning as I go.
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Format: Paperback
The title "learning GNU Emacs is deceiving". It is an introduction to Emacs.
If you plan to use Emacs for software development, it is definitively not sufficient.
Moreover, while introducing a feature, the author think useful to write a full paragraph to explain you why you need it (for instance, why you need the command UNDO).
The positive point is that the features discussed are explained step by step so that you are sure that if you read the whole section you will understand and be able to reproduce.
Finally "GNU Emacs Manual" by R Stallman is the reference an Emacs user will need.
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Format: Paperback
Great book .... I've used emacs for 4 years (right around) and i've gained a wealth of knowledge that i never knew .... So; if your going to use Emacs -- get this ... actually I'd get the 3rd edition -- but you still can't go wrong with this -- even if you are using 21.3 ;-)
Plus Eric Raymond even has contribution involved (can't help it ... I'm a fan) so had to mention that.
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Format: Paperback
A couple of things are not very hard in Emacs. Once you have a new major-mode, it's pretty easy to figure out how it works, by pressing C-h b or C-h m. This book is about the easy stuff; it covers a lot of major- and minor modes. However, it hardly tells you anything at all about the way Emacs is structured and configured. And that is one of the hardest things to figure out when you're starting to use Emacs. (I know by experience, I had to go through quite some pain before I was able to work with it properly.)
So if you want more verbose explanations of major Emacs modes, this is the book you want. If you want to figure out how to customize stuff to your needs, this is not the book you want.
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Format: Paperback
Since 3 years I habe been using emacs. I began to use emacs only after I bought this book, which I consider the best book to learn many, many features of GNU emacs. The book contains 16 different chapters, from "emacs basics" to "LISP programming". The title of the book is GNU Emacs but the authors have includes many tips for xemacs. I find very good that they explain the commands and then they put all related commands in tables at the end of each chapter. For beginners it is very important to know the definition of the commands, but later it is bettet to find the commands in a table and this is the idea that the authors habe implemented here. Don't wait and buy this book now and begin to discover the world of emacs!
Virgilio Krumbacher
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By A Customer on Feb. 14 2001
Format: Paperback
I have been a vi user for a long time (6 years) and never thought I needed an alternative. This book has shown me the wonderful world of Emacs and its many modes. For very fast editing of text files and search/replace operations, vi is still the best. But for anything else, Emacs is a real time saver. I work a lot with the Fortran and LaTeX modes (with the AUCTeX package) and they both have saved me countless keystrokes, particularly with LaTeX. I find it convenient to keep this book nearby for reference as Emacs' has far too many commands to keep in one's head. It is *certainly* a very good introductory and reference book to Emacs. I will not write Lisp code in my life and the information given here is sufficient for me. Another user has mentioned that rtin and Lynx are better, but most often, you have install another dozen packages before you can use them (atleast if you *don't* use a Linux machine). Gnus works well enough for my occasional newsreading. I highly recommend this book for the 95% that are not too interested in heavy customization or esoteric uses. I most certainly will buy an extra copy to keep as a reference.
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Format: Paperback
You will become functionally literate in Emacs with this book. It's large and friendly, unlike Emacs, and you have to dedicate a lot of time to learning this lovable, beastly editor. (Emacs is not so much a text editor as an IDE + calendar + interface to Unix tools rolled into one).
Learning Emacs to its very core is a good education for any programmer... I can't imagine a benefit to any non-programmer (or non-technical person) in this day and age (Emacs dates back to the 1970's, technology-wise). Its extensibility is indeed legendary, but RMAIL is simply not as good as a dozen other mail clients; Gnus cannot compare to Netscape's news reader or rtin; w3 is not as good as Lynx for plain-text Web surfing; buffers are nice but I find 'screen' to be a better tool, and 'vi' faster for just plain text editing.
The advantage is Emacs can do all of these together, with major and minor modes providing the hooks (pun intended) to integrate the work. Emacs is a jack of all trades and master of... a few, at least.
All that said, I found the lack of regular expression search/replace examples mystifying, no discussion at all of registers or the mark ring, and after reading the *whole thing* I still wanted more. Maybe more major modes for the next edition? :-)
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