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Re: (Slightly Off-Topic) Emacs-like Office App

From: Todd Wylie
Subject: Re: (Slightly Off-Topic) Emacs-like Office App
Date: 31 Oct 2002 10:42:41 -0600
User-agent: Gnus/5.0808 (Gnus v5.8.8) Emacs/21.2 writes:

I, for one, would love to see an application that merged the WYSIWYG features 
of a word processor with the underlying power of Emacs. This may start the old 
"Emacs is a text processor not a word processor" debate... but there are times 
when I want a straight ahead editor (programming) and other times I want to 
view text in a word processor (I'm writing a book right now). Trying to get 
Emacs to show text in manuscript format is a pain in the butt (double-spacing 
lines without hard returns, specific margins, headers and footers with page 
numbers, etc.). However, no word processor I have ever found matches the power 
and scope of Emacs (try running a regex search in MS Word). I really do wish 
someone would merge the two concepts someday. 
If anyone responds directly to you about such a package existing -- please let 
me know. 


> Hi
> This isn't really a request for help with Emacs but a request for knowledge
> on Applications inspired by Emacs, specifically office type Applications.
> I love how Emacs is so extensible and provides so many features due to its
> use of modes and elisp. So what I'm (very idly at this stage) considering
> is the idea of an office kinda suite (yeah, like M$) all within the one
> program through the use of emacs style modes and retaining a lot of
> extensibility through a lisp dialect (probably guile).
> Emacs can probably do something similar to what I'm thinking already if 
> support was written for it, but I'm thinking Emacs would probably remain,
> well, ugly in the eyes of typical office workers and it would thus
> be unappealing.
> Instead I'm envisioning something that looks a lot like current gnome
> office products... only it's capable of doing all of them simply by loading
> the appropriate modes (perhaps after first writing them ;).
> Gnome office is a great idea and I think it's a great alternative to M$
> office but I think the idea of having separate programs attempting to 
> integrate through some additional system like bonobo or OLE will still
> remain somewhat unintegrated and perhaps not as consistent in its interface
> as what I'm suggesting would be. I imagine typical office users would be
> much more satisfied if they only needed the one app that could do everything
> and I imagine advanced office users and programmers would be much more
> satisfied if they can extend that app to do almost anything they please.
> So if something *better* (rather than just equivalent) than M$ office is
> written as part of the GNU/Linux project then we have much more clout for
> winning the average user over. I imagine for this sort of goal the app
> would almost certainly have to have a fully featured M$ Windows port so
> it can first appeal to all these M$ windows users, and once they're won
> over it's a small step to realising that if everything they need for
> office work is in that app, and that app is available on GNU why not just
> use GNU?
> So, with that description of my infant idea in mind, I have a couple of
> questions:
> Does anyone know if something like what I'm describing already exists
> or is in the process of being written etc?
> and of course:
> Is my idea stupid, infeasible, lacking in some major consideration, too
> damned hard etc or is it actually a good idea?
> I'm looking forward to any kinds of comments/suggestions. Thanks!

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