To quote the Emacs Manual:
Emacs is the extensible, customizable, self-documenting real-time display editor.If this seems to be a bit of a mouthful, an easier explanation is Emacs is a text editor and more. At its core is an interpreter for Emacs Lisp (``elisp'', for short), a dialect of the Lisp programming language with extensions to support text editing. Some of the features of GNU Emacs include:
GNU Emacs is a rapidly developed project. Extensions require time to develop right and test thoroughly.
GNU Emacs is actively being developed,
Some of GNU Emacs' release history and accompanying release announcements,
Next, here is a table listing some additional operating systems which Emacs supports. We have listed an operating system here if it can run on more than one machine type, or if other operating systems can also run on the same machine type.
Many of the computer types listed above always or usually run one particular operating system developed by the computer manufacturer. (Often this is a variant of Unix.) We have not listed the names of those operating systems here.
The name ``Emacs'' was originally chosen as an abbreviation of Editor MACroS.
The original Emacs implementation was written for the Incompatible
Timesharing System (ITS) as a collection of TECO macros for ITS TECO.
There was a custom of giving such macro packages names ending in
``mac'' or ``macs''. A further reason for choosing this particular
name was that the abbreviation ``e'' was unused at the time on ITS.
The Emacs FAQ (html, plain text, Texinfo in the Emacs source distribution) contains a longer explanation, as well as a brief history of Emacs.
GNU Emacs can be obtained from <http://ftp.gnu.org/pub/gnu/emacs/>, or from a local FTP mirror.
The GNU Emacs CVS repository is available for general access through savannah.gnu.org's emacs project page
Information on getting help with GNU software in general is available at the Get Help with GNU Software page.
The Free Software Foundation publishes three manuals about GNU Emacs. They are the Emacs Manual, the Introduction to Emacs Lisp Programming, and the Emacs Lisp Reference Manual. You can order any of these manuals in printed form from the Free Software Foundation.
The source code for the Emacs Manual is included in the Emacs distribution itself. The Emacs Lisp Reference Manual is available as a separate distribution on ftp.gnu.org. The Emacs Reference Card (texinfo source) is also translated into Czech.
The mailing list <email@example.com> is specifically for asking for help with GNU Emacs. This is equivalent to the newsgroup <gnu.emacs.help>.
The Savannah page for Emacs mailing lists lists some more lists related to Emacs.
There are other GNU mailing lists and newsgroups, including several on GNU Emacs and its extensions.
There is a newsgroup specifically for asking for help with GNU Emacs gnu.emacs.help. This newsgroup is gatewayed automatically to the mailing list <firstname.lastname@example.org>, so anything you post on one of them appears on the other as well.
If you are looking for ELisp packages, check out the following resources:
The Savannah Emacs page has additional information about Emacs, including CVS access to the Emacs development sources.
The Emacs Wiki is a community website which collects ELisp code, questions and answers related to ELisp code and style; introductions to ELisp packages and links to their sources; complete manuals or documentation fragments; comments on features, differences, and history of different Emacs versions, flavors, and ports; jokes; pointers to clones and Emacs look-alikes, as well as references to other Emacs related information on the Web.
If you haven't had any experience with Lisp, you can find some useful information at The Association of Lisp Users.
We also have a copy of the 1981 paper by Richard Stallman, describing the design of the original Emacs and the lessons to be learned from it.
There is also a transcript of a speech, My Lisp Experiences and the Development of GNU Emacs given by Richard Stallman at the International Lisp Conference on 28 Oct 2002.
To contact the maintainers of Emacs, either to report a bug or to contribute fixes or improvements, send mail to <email@example.com>.
Return to GNU's home page.
Please send FSF & GNU inquiries & questions to firstname.lastname@example.org. There are also other ways to contact the FSF.
We thank Greg Harvey for writing this page.
Please send comments on these web pages to email@example.com, send other questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Verbatim copying and distribution of this entire article is permitted in any medium, provided this notice is preserved.
Updated: $Date: 2006/12/18 17:32:24 $ $Author: karl $