Subject: Re: CLEmacs [was: I'm a Lisper, hear me roar...]
From: Erik Naggum <>
Date: 08 Nov 2002 01:17:04 +0000
Newsgroups: comp.lang.lisp
Message-ID: <>

* Tim Lavoie
| The "Emacs in CL" thread has come up before, hasn't it? I agree of
| course, but I suspect that the reasons it hasn't happened are more
| political than technical. I'm no Lisp expert, so I can't exactly
| volunteer to just jump in and do it. It could be sweet though.

  An Emacs in Common Lisp would need a full reimplementation of Emacs Lisp
  and would need an enormous compatibility layer if it were to do anything
  differently internally.  To succeed, it would also need to emulate both
  XEmacs and Emacs.  Then it would need to track the development of both
  Emacsen.  While it would make a lot of sense to reimplement the internals
  so that the MULEshit could be cleaned out and international support done
  right, Emacs is not just internals.  What would /really/ make a difference
  to users would be if Emacs Lisp could be compiled to native code and not
  have to run through the byte-code interpreter.

  Some of the other things I have wanted for a Common Lisp Emacs is a user
  process that handles file system interaction instead of the Emacs doing
  it directly, a separation of the displayable area and the "buffer" so
  that less of the data would need to be transferred to the Emacs process
  and converted to the internal character set, which should be Unicode, and
  such that changes to the actual file would require minimal work, and many
  other things that are very hard to do in Emacs today that would change
  the way Emacs behaves and which would make it so much more usable for
  large files and being a "control center" now that most computer users
  command a number of computer, usually widely dispersed.  Some of these
  ideas are strong enough that they could make a Common Lisp Emacs survive,
  but the amount of work to get there would simply be enormous.

Erik Naggum, Oslo, Norway

Act from reason, and failure makes you rethink and study harder.
Act from faith, and failure makes you blame someone and push harder.