2009-09-06

ErgoEmacs history

On Sat, Sep 5, 2009 at 2:19 PM, biccari wrote:
> > 1. Why don't you delete the Emacs2010 and ergoemacs keybindings
> > project and create a single Google page ErgoEmacs?
> > I think that now the situation is a bit confusing.

On Sat, Sep 5, 2009 at 11:36 PM, David Capello wrote:
> I think the same. I suggest that we should remove Emacs2010 and
> stay just with the already created "ergoemacs" google project (anyway
> I don't know if it is easy/possible to move all issues from emacs2010
> to ergoemacs, and we will lost SVN history (anyway it could be
> better to do it now that the respository is small)).

as far as i know, google code doesn't let you rename project. I think last i read you have to ask them to do it for you.

ideally, i'd like to rename emacs2010 to ErgoEmacs, and the “ergoemacs” to ErgoEmacs Keybindings.

Perhaps i'll have to post a request to google. A possible tech complexity is that we are renaming to existing names (i.e. emacs2010 → ergoemacs). So, i hope if we do this, there'd be no screwup. But in any case, the code base is small as David said. At worse, starting over new project from scratch is no problem.

I think we are kinda small now. I'm guessing there are maybe few hundred of ergoemacs keybinding users at most, and probably less than 5 who actually seriously use or looked at the code for ErgoEmacs (emacs2010).

My sense is that we are at early stage and can wait a bit... e.g. from my experience, lots of other projects that eventually became successful has to be renamed for legal reason or otherwise. (lindows, firefox, many others ...)

> Xah has the last word.

wee! :)

> > 2. At the moment your target are the Windows and Mac users.
> > Why don't you write a very small page where you suggest the best emacs
> > distribution (one of the EmacsW32 package for Windows or just GNU
> > Emacs? Aquamacs for Mac?) and put the instructions to install
> > ErgoEmacs over these distributions?

> That is a good idea. A wiki page "How to use ErgoEmacs with
> GNU Emacs" for advanced (current emacs) users. Anyway that
> tutorial should not be necessary to be read by any future ErgoEmacs
> user (when the installer is done).

> Maybe we need two pages:
> 1) How to install ergoemacs keybindings
> 2) How to convert your GNU Emacs to ErgoEmacs

i think (1) is already there. For (2), i hope we can have a ready-to-use binary soon.

Following is some more explanations.

Ideally, i'd like to see one simple page of just maybe 2 paragraphs of text, then a download button, for users to download this editor for Windows and Mac. (as binary of course) And, without any philosophies, emacs history, why another emacs, which choice you should make, etc. Basically, look at any mainstream successful software e.g. google chrome, firefox, opera, Visual Studio... without the “hacker community”'s extra culture to be able to make sense out of it.

For emacsW32 and almost all emacs distro out there (including the other major emacs distro for the Mac, the Carbon Emacs), it's trivial to install the ergoemacs keybindings.
(http://code.google.com/p/ergoemacs/)
for any who sees this page, they can get it to run in 5 minutes without problems. (otherwise it's a major bug)

The only exception is the Aquamacs Emacs on the Mac. Aquamacs is exception because it is in a world by itself (lol). It is designed to be a complete Mac-like application as much as possible. So, all emacs ways are gone. It is not easy to customize it for a typical emacs users, because its own customization is rather radical and large. (with files opening in its own windows, tabbed gui, lots other pop up gui, etc.) Basically, on the mac, there are 2 major distros. Aquamacs and Carbon emacs. Aquamacs is mostly for those who never used emacs before, and for those who have used emacs or came from unix, they usually use Carbon emacs. One can, of course, always customize emacs to whatever if he has enough time.

Aquamacs is highly successful however, as a editor, because it grabbed all the “normal” people (mostly academics/students, and non “hackers” and non unixers) who simply needed to use a editor. (most of its users are LaTeX users)

Aquamacs is not a good mix with ergoemacs keybindings, due to the fact that Mac uses the Cmd key for standard shortcuts. Since Aquamacs is meant to be a Mac application, so it fully respect that. This means, Ergoemacs Keybindings won't have the easy Cmd key for shortcuts. That basically throws off the purpose of ergonomics in ergoemacs. (the Mac's Cmd key is analogous to the Alt key on PC keyboards with respect to position)

> ErgoEmacs over these distributions?
> Now some informations are reported in the DeveloperIntro page but I
> think a simple page for the essential informations is a good thing.

this project for much of this year is just my own... started as frustration with the emacs people and my rants and own customizations. I figured it might be useful to put them together, and eventually thought might as well start a project. For much of this year there's just this emacs2 zip file you can download that's pretty much my own customizations. It should work with any emacs distro. (but without much quality checking) David helped a lot since he joined recently and helped to start to build a binary and made the ergoemacs into a minor mode.

For now, the emacs2 dir package is in a flux but should still work... again, we hope to get the binary out, which is the real goal.

Thanks a lot for your suggestions. It's always useful to get feedback.

Xah
∑ http://xahlee.org/

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