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30 July 2009, 11:13

Emacs capable of handling Unicode

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After years of work, the Emacs developers have released Emacs 23.1, the first version of the free editor that internally uses the UTF-8 Unicode format. The editor manages and displays fonts using Fontconfig and Xft, allowing users to apply anti-aliasing to their fonts.

GTK has replaced the ageing Lucid as the default tool kit for the GUI. A translation switch serves for generating a NextStep/Mac version, although this version is less stable than the X11 version. The old Mac port that still used the Carbon API will no longer be supported by the developers.

X11 users can simultaneously run Emacs in a window and in a terminal. This is achieved via an integrated server which can be activated with --daemon when starting the program or with M-x server-start during operation.

Emacs now also allows users to highlight using the cursor while pressing the shift key, another feature that is familiar from many other programs. Further changes affect the mini-buffer, which has reportedly become more interactive and now offers auto completion, and a new DocView mode for displaying PDF, PostScript, and DVI files. According to the NEWS file, the developers have also implemented butterfly mode.

A complete list of changes can be found in the NEWS file and a GNU Emacs Manual is provided. Emacs 23.1 is available to download from the FTP repository and is released under version 3 of the GNU General Public License (GPLv3).

See also:

  • Aquamacs, an Emacs variant for Mac OS X.


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