- Series: A Nutshell handbook
- Paperback: 568 pages
- Publisher: O'Reilly & Associates; 2nd Updated edition (September 11, 1996)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1565921526
- ISBN-13: 978-1565921528
- Product Dimensions: 7 x 1.3 x 9.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 13 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,837,557 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Learning GNU Emacs (A Nutshell handbook) 2nd Updated Edition
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From the Publisher
GNU Emacs is the most popular and widespread of the Emacs family of editors. It is also the most powerful and flexible. Unlike all other text editors, GNU Emacs is a complete working environment -- you can stay within Emacs all day without leaving. This book tells you how to get started with the GNU Emacs editor. It will also "grow" with you: as you become more proficient, this book will help you learn how to use Emacs more effectively. It takes you from basic Emacs usage (simple text editing) to moderately complicated customization and programming. The second edition of Learning GNU Emacs describes all of the new features of GNU Emacs 19.30, including fonts and colors, pull-down menus, scroll bars, enhanced X Window support, and correct bindings for most standard keys. GNUS, a Usenet newsreader, and ange-ftp mode, a transparent interface to the file transfer protocol, are also described. Learning GNU Emacs, second edition, covers: Using Emacs as an Internet Toolkit (to use electronic mail and Usenet news, telnet to other computers, retrieve files using FTP, browse the World Wide Web, and author Web documents) Emacs' rich, comprehensive online help facilities How to edit files with Emacs Using Emacs as a "shell environment" How to take advantage of "built-in" formatting features How to use multiple buffers, Emacs windows, and X Windows Customizing Emacs The Emacs interface to the X Window System, which allows you to use a mouse and pop-up menus Whys and hows of writing macros to circumvent repetitious tasks Emacs as a programming environment The basics of Emacs LISP How to get Emacs Quick-reference card listing all the commands discussed in the book The book is aimed at new Emacs users, whether or not they are programmers. Also useful for readers switching from other Emacs implementations to GNU Emacs.
From the Back Cover
GNU Emacs is the most popular and widespread of the Emacs family of editors. It is also the most powerful and flexible. Unlike other text editors, GNU Emacs is a complete working environment; you can stay within Emacs all day without leaving. This book tells you how to get started, but it will also "grow" with you: as you become more proficient, it will help you learn to use Emacs more effectively. It takes you from basic Emacs usage (simple text editing) to moderately complicated customization and programming. The second edition of Learning GNU Emacs describes all of the new features of GNU Emacs 19.30, including fonts and colors, pull-down menus, scrollbars, enhanced X Window System support, and correct bindings for most standard keys. Gnus, a Usenet newsreader, and ange-ftp mode, a transparent interface to the file transfer protocol, are also described. This book covers using Emacs as an Internet toolkit; Emacs' rich, comprehensive online help facilities; how to edit files with Emacs; using Emacs as a "shell environment"; how to take advantage of "built-in" formatting features; how to use multiple buffers, Emacs windows, and X windows; customizing Emacs; the Emacs interface to the X Window System; whys and hows of writing macros to circumvent repetitious tasks; Emacs as a programming environment; the basics of Emacs LISP; and how to get Emacs. Also included is a handy quick-reference card listing all of the commands discussed in the book.
Top customer reviews
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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? :-)
While I am no where near a Emacs expert this book has made me into more than just a casual user. Learning how to do the keyboard macros has saved me countless hours of work over the years. Sometimes if I plan on doing a lot of typing for a business document I'll use emacs to get started so I don't have to lift my fingers off the keys, then paste the text into word for formatting.
Using this book to expand my previous knowledge of Emacs has had exponential return on investment. I highly recommend it, to anyone that is trying to learn or wants to improve their emacs skill level.
Of course, for vi devotees like myself, emacs sucks no matter what. :)
The 2nd ed is outdated, though. You should check out the latest Learning GNU Emacs, Third Edition
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.
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.
Plus Eric Raymond even has contribution involved (can't help it ... I'm a fan) so had to mention that.