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GNU Emacs Manual, For Version 21, 15th Edition Paperback – August 1, 2002

5.0 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Richard M. Stallman is the original author of GNU Emacs and is still its maintainer. He was recently awarded the 2001 Takeda Award for Techno-Entrepreneurial Achievements in Social/Economic Well-Being.

Stallman is internationally recognized as the creator of the Free Software movement - a progressive worldwide movement to make software code freely available so as to improve its development and accessibility. He has received a host of computer science honors ranging from a 1990 MacArthur "Genius Grant" to his election into the American National Academy of Engineering in 2002.

In 1984 Stallman resigned from his job as a researcher at MIT's AI Lab in protest of its increasingly restrictive copyright policy. He countered by starting the GNU Project, a revolutionary concept at that time, and by writing the General Public License. GNU with the LINUX kernel was the first freely distributable operating system available with source code and protected by the GPL.


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 644 pages
  • Publisher: Free Software Foundation; 15 edition (August 1, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 188211485X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1882114856
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 6.8 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,656,880 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

By M. F. Forest on September 25, 2003
Format: Paperback
The book covers the complete use of Emacs (except programming Lisp extensions).
The text is most of the time clear and consise. All you will read is useful information. Moreover you often find anwsers to your questions as if the author has anticipated it (probably the experience of the 15 previous editions).
What could be better is the conceptual description of Emacs: What are the variables attached to each buffer, how the major/minor modes affects the variables ... finally what make the state of Emacs at a given time.
As a conclusion: We would like many more books of this quality.
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Format: Paperback
This book is the only reference you need for Emacs v21. It is written by Richard Stallman, the original author of Emacs and about a gazillion other brilliant pieces of software, not to mention he is the founder of the GNU project and the FSF. The book is basically packed with useful information. It has a good table of contents and several good indexes (Key (Character) index, Command and function index, variable index and concept index). Some of the things you find are not compatable with earlier versions of emacs, and they are not always noted, but hopefully you can download the latest version anyways.

It covers the basics like opening/editting/saving files, getting online help, cutting/copying/pasting, searching/replacing, and simeltaneously working on multiple documents. Most of these simple things are also helpfully summarized on a tear-out reference card in the back. The book, however, goes into great, great detail, providing you with the massive power that Emacs (the one editor to rule them all) has.

Some other parts of the book that I found useful were the chapters covering backup files, version control (w/ RCS), major modes (i.e., modes in which the behavior of Emacs changes to suit the type of buffer you are working on. E.g., automatic indentation and highlighting in C-mode), integrated compiling with gcc and debugging with gdb, and dired (the file system browser with primative commands for deleting and other simple things). I would have been (and was) seriously lost trying to custimize Emacs without this book.

Other topics covered that I haven't yet mentioned are registers, international character support, tag tables, merging files, email and web browsing capabilities, the calender/diaries, and many other odds and ends.
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Format: Paperback
Got the book two years ago while working as an adm. tech for a small company. I was familiar with vi but decided this one was more customizable. Got the latest copy just to update for the job.
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