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Re: Emacs as WM

From: joakim
Subject: Re: Emacs as WM
Date: Sat, 09 Aug 2014 00:49:15 +0200
User-agent: Gnus/5.130012 (Ma Gnus v0.12) Emacs/24.4.50 (gnu/linux)

Matthew Plant <address@hidden> writes:

> I was curious about what people on this list thought about application
> embedding in Emacs. To a degree this is already supported with ansi
> term, but this obviously doesn't extend to GUI applications. For those
> of you familiar with Plan 9, think of how programs use the window the
> terminal they're launched in; embedding GUI apps in Emacs would force
> the program to run in a window owned by Emacs and fitted into a buffer.

Please see the Emacs Xwidget project, which has a somewhat rambling
overview here:

> The reason why I bring this up is because it would be relatively easy to
> do in a way that's not very platform agnostic. It's really easy to
> replace the X libarary (forgive me for not using proper nomenclature;
> it'd lengthen this email tenfold) window creation functions with one
> that extends contol over the window. The degree of integration can be
> controlled by the number of replaced functions. If drawn text wants to
> be handled specially, those functions would be replaced. Some method can
> be specified for switching between emacs and the application controlling
> user input.
> This has some obvious advantages; for one, Emacs automatically subsumes
> all editors, including more WYSIWYG editors. Not only that, but Emacs
> essentially becomes a window manager, which I personally would
> love. Because some apps, particular web browsers, do not always require
> special handling of the keyboard, switching between regular Emacs
> buffers and the special app buffers would be generally seamless. I could
> imagine myself typing away in one Emacs buffer, momentarily moving to
> the mouse to click throught some online doxygen in my web browser in the
> buffer to the right.
> There are also a lot of disadvantages to this. For one, the applications
> would be pretty buggy without some effort to re-implement X
> functions. Also, my co-worker points out that this would be incongrous
> with the current capabilities of Emacs, one of which is the easy
> transfer of text betwixt buffers. Getting these two features to work
> harmoniously would be kind of difficult; lots of wrappers to
> X/Gnome/whatever text writing functions would have to be made. However,
> copy and paste would work (I'm guessing) out of the box.
> I suppose it all boils down to what people want with the future of
> Emacs. Personally, I would love to turn on my computer and have Emacs be
> there every step of the way. I genuinely think that Emacs is a great
> full interface to an OS. It is not a full OS however and never should
> be, which is why I like this idea as an in-between.
> -M

Joakim Verona

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