[OT] Emacs, Eclipse, Leo (was Re: IDE

François Pinard pinard at iro.umontreal.ca
Sat Jul 17 20:40:16 CEST 2004

[Steve Menard]

> Here's an idea : how hard would it be to replace emacs's ELISP
> interpreter with Python, and translate the "main" ELISP modules to
> python?

It would be a long and difficult task, in my opinion.  One may also
consider writing an Emacs Lisp interpreter in Python for recycling bulks
of interesting Emacs Lisp modules or packages without translating them,
but this is also fairly daunting, pondering how to do this properly.

Just dream and suppose it was doable to translate things like Gnus (or
Calc) from Emacs Lisp to Python.  It would not make them simpler to
learn nor to configure.  The heaviness lies in the problem, not in the
language, so a change of language would not eradicate the heaviness.

> I would love being able to use something like emacs and custimize it
> to my hearts content.  ELISP, however, just does not fit in my brain.

I did a great deal of Python customisation of Emacs, and also turned
many existing lines of Emacs Lisp into Python (for easier maintenance),
and finally, I got much more Python than Emacs Lisp customisation.  I
used Pymacs for doing so, see http://pymacs.progiciels-bpi.ca (I think
the "official" URL is still http://www.iro.umontreal.ca/~pinard/pymacs).

An unexpected advantage, and I discovered this only later, appeared when
I switched from Emacs to Vim: all that Python code could be recycled
into Vim with a moderate effort.  It could have been worse, for example,
if I had not been careful at well segregating, all along in my Python
code, the editor interface from the "algorithmic" parts.

François Pinard   http://www.iro.umontreal.ca/~pinard

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