a good programming text editor (not IDE)

david.reitter at gmail.com david.reitter at gmail.com
Fri Jun 16 02:03:34 CEST 2006

Slawomir Nowaczyk wrote:

> #> That's true, but even emacs and xemacs don't offer simple automatic
> #> word wrap (i.e. wrap a line without splitting words or putting an eol
> #> or hard carriage return at the end of every line).
> Of course it does... there is longlines.el and longlines-mode in my
> copy of GNU Emacs:
> ,--------------------------------------------------
> | Toggle Long Lines mode.
> | In Long Lines mode, long lines are wrapped if they extend beyond
> | `fill-column'.  The soft newlines used for line wrapping will not
> | show up when the text is yanked or saved to disk.
> `-------------------------------------------------

Not quite. Longlines Mode actually inserts real carriage returns into
the buffer, which you will notice in a lot of situations. For example,
text does not get rewrapped when you resize the frame to a different
width. Also, searching for two words (with a space in between them)
won't work when the target text happens to wrap them just there
(happens to me all the time when editing LaTeX). Thirdly, you'll find
that when you load a file, its lines won't automatically wrap at the
frame (actually, the window) width position.

All of these things don't bother long-time Emacs people, because most
of them tend to see a GUI as a way to display many terminals (something
like that has been said by someone else before in this thread), and
most of them rely on traditional Unix tools such as grep which work

I have advocated seeing lines (with a CR and/or LF) as paragraphs, and
making the display of lines a matter of the particular display, not the
original data. That is much more natural for wrapped text, i.e. real
text rather than computer-parseable files.
A patch to Emacs 22 has been produced after that discussion, but sadly,
it isn't mature enough to make it into the final Emacs 22 release. But
I am confident we're going to see this in GNU Emacs 23, or at least in
Aquamacs Emacs in a little while.

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