Monday, 17 September 2012

Welcome on Aquamacs Emacs!

First post of 2012. I'm sorry for this, but I have really a lot of work to do!
Emacs is one of most famous Free-Software project. It's the first brick posed by Stallman for the GNU project and the most favourite editor for real programmers. Ok... VIM is equally famous, but I choosed Emacs for my jobs! Aquamacs Emacs is a Emacs implementation designed to run on Mac OS X systems. Maybe Mr. Stallman could hate me to advertising this program, but I hope he forgive me, because I think this "trojan horse strategy" could be successful. Anyway, let's talk about this good piece of software.

Emacs with Cocoa

Aquamacs is designed to run natively on a Mac OS X environment, so its GUI is Cocoa based. So, you'll see Aquamacs as a native Mac application, without GTK+ GUIs. For purists this seems irrelevant, but remember we are talking about a software designed for a OS which aims a lot on its graphical design. Aquamacs has same Mac OS X's "Look and Feel" and this can be very important for many users.

CUA-Mode/Tab-Mode On!

I started to use EMACS when I found cua-mode, the most important mode ever invented for a guy whom started programming from the second half of nineties. I'm happy to have cua-mode and tab-mode are enabled by default, because they give a editor usable also for newbies whom don't know arcane key bindings such as META-W, META-Y, ecc. and are more used to CTRL-C and CTRL-V
Aquamacs includes also org-mode, a very interesting tool to organize ideas on a project.

Fine... but how to install a mode?

Since three weeks ago... I didn't know! And I was very angry about that! I need a lua-mode and renpy-mode to develop some software. To install it you must
  • Put your .el file in a load-path directory. I prefear to use the
    /Users/<your-user-name>/Library/Preferences/Aquamacs Emacs/ path. I prefear to install packages in this directory because I'm still thinking in a multi-user environment and I prefear to install it just for myself;
  • For lua-mode, open your Preferences.el (it's Aquamacs' .emacs substitute. You find it on /Users/<your-user-name>/Applications/Aquamacs Emacs/, and add the command
    (load-file "lua-mode")
    
    You see there's not the extension.
  • Next time you'll type M-X lua-mode, files will be managed with lua-mode

Conclusions

As you can see trying Aquamacs, it's clear Emacs is a modern, powerfull and portable developing tool, sometimes comparable to a IDE. I find its expandable nature its most intriguing feature.
Back to Aquamacs, you have a confortable Emacs for your Mac OS X, better than TextEdit. Give it a try, you will be pleased!
And remember: color-theme-selector works :)

A question: does anybody knows Elisp? I would like to make some macros. Please, contact me!
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