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Learning GNU Emacs Paperback – Dec 23 2004
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...will give you a firm grounding in all of emacs basic features, as well as a tour of its more advanced features... -- Jeff Clites, MACTech, Dec 2001 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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? :-)
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.
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.
Most recent customer reviews
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 ... Read morePublished on July 16 2003
I found this book to be not that good. It is a bit long winded, I had a hard time using the index to find things that I was looking for. Read morePublished on April 4 2000 by Fenton Travers
C-u 100 M-x read-this-book If only the key combinations were like vi's. Those two finger combinations tire me.Published on Sept. 10 1999
Emacs is not just a text editor. It is a true power tool, first of its class and still the best. This book uncovers the full range of emacs capabilities in a friendly and... Read morePublished on July 31 1999
But the part on Lisp programming is very bad. Furthermore, it doesn't tell you how to debug a C program, and it doesn't mention xemacs.Published on Aug. 20 1998
This is the only computer-related book I have 2 copies of, one for work and another at home. With this book Emacs goes from a powerful text editor to a powerful productivity tool. Read morePublished on July 24 1998
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