Could Emacs be rewritten in Python?

Christian Tanzer tanzer at
Wed Apr 9 09:00:24 CEST 2003

"Greg Ewing (using" <ckea25d02 at> wrote:

> Christian Tanzer wrote:
> > If you want to implement something comparable
> > to Emacs' power, you'd better look at the Elisp Reference Manual for
> > quite a while.
> That's one way of looking at it. Arguably, however, it
> might be better *not* to study the Elisp Reference Manual
> too closely, so as not to pollute your mind with all
> those crufty hacks and jeopardise your chances of
> coming up with a better overall design. A sort of
> conceptual clean-room approach.

Well, I didn't argue for cloning the cruft but for gathering
information about the problem space. For all the crufty hacks, Emacs
is an excellent editor. Ignoring the past is rarely a good guide to
improve the state of the art.

IMHO it is not possible to do top-down clean-room design for such a
piece of software. Given enough sweat, it should certainly be possible
to come up with a substantially better overall design.

Christian Tanzer                                         tanzer at
Glasauergasse 32                                       Tel: +43 1 876 62 36
A-1130 Vienna, Austria                                 Fax: +43 1 877 66 92

More information about the Python-list mailing list