Subject: Re: "Well, I want to switch over to replace EMACS LISP with Guile." (was Re: Lisp in Python)
From: Erik Naggum <>
Date: 15 Oct 2002 23:13:20 +0000
Newsgroups: comp.lang.lisp
Message-ID: <>

* Greg Neumann
| From your tone about Free Software, I assume that people already tried
| integrating CL well into Emacs...

  The one really useful thing about the Net is that you can ask people
  questions and not have to assume based on "tone" and other factors.  Many
  still behave as if Usenet consisted of published papers where the author
  had gone fishing.  Do not guess.  Do not assume.  Think and ask.  Listen
  and learn.  Voice your concerns directly.  It takes too much time to read
  news already if one shall not also have to counter-act assumptions and
  all kinds of weird guesses based on feelings and tones.  This may be a
  virtual reality of sorts, but it still consists only of what we verbalize.

| I hear that esr actually called Gnu a cathedral of development instead of
| a bazaar, so no doubt there is much to be disenchanted with Emacs
| development.  I'll look into that.

  FWIW, you should find my name on a large number of changelog entries and
  some packages.  I sort of dropped out when MULE was dropped on the feet
  of all the Emacs developers.  Many other long-time developers found that
  they had a very limited taste for the MULE team's doing and especially
  the undoing of previously working support for 8-bit character sets.  The
  MULE team was sufficiently incompetent and destructive that I published a
  "multibyte survival kit" for Emacs 20.2.  RedHat distributed it, but I
  think it was a sufficiently strong eye-opener that many problems got
  fixed.  That was, in effect, a threat of secession and split based on the
  ill will and incompetence of a team that was widely believed to think
  that only the Japanese way to large character sets would work.  To this
  day, the MULE-based Emacs really, really sucks at Unicode support.  I
  have quit working with Emacs entirely and only use it, but what pushed me
  to this conclusion was the rank arrogance of the incompetent Japanese
  team.  I had worked with character sets in ISO since before Unicode, but
  was met with what would probably be perceived as polite, but amazingly
  arrogant Japanese know-it-alls who probably did not understand English
  well enough to grasp what people were talking about, but too afraid to
  show their incompetence by asking questions, instead destroyed years of
  effort to make Emacs work well in Europe, too.  It was an interesting
  experience in international cooperation and politics.  It shall be fun to
  see if they ever manage to make Emacs truly Unicode-conformant and able
  to accept input from X with its rich support for many character sets.
  Emacs 21.2 is still, amazingly, unable to understand most X events that
  other "modern" X applications accept without problems, including a UTF-8-
  enabled xterm.  There is, in my experienced view, not much hope for any
  /real/ improvements to Emacs unless they get rid of much braindamage,
  both people and code.

  I also wanted to build a Common Lisp-based Emacs and still have the
  domain name "", but found that after a couple months of
  spare-time work on it that the sheer amount of duplication of effort was
  going to kill the project before it was born, so I aborted the mission.
  None of the free Common Lisp were up to the task, either, by the way.

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.