Thursday, July 30 2009

Ah, Emacs…

Emacs 23 natively uses Unicode. This means I can run it in a Terminal window, like God intended, and still have full Japanese support. Previous versions did funky Shift-JIS conversions that made its behavior… “eccentric” on a Mac, especially with cut-and-paste.

Now all I have to do is strip out all of the cruft from the elisp directory, and I’ll have the perfect text editor. Actually, it’ll be easier to delete everything and just add back the non-cruft as needed. There’s not much that I don’t consider cruft, so it will be pretty darn small.

[side note: a release comment says something to the effect that the internal encoding is a superset of Unicode with four times the space, which would make it a 34-bit system. WTF? Update: ah, I see; UTF-32 has a lot of empty space, with only a bit over 20 bits allocated in the Unicode standard. UTF-8 was also designed with considerable headroom, which is no surprise, given that it was invented during dinner by Ken Thompson.]