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11 June 2012, 10:52

GNU Emacs 24.1 introduces new packaging system

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The GNU Emacs developers have announced version 24.1 of the venerable text editor. This latest release introduces a new packaging system, support for right-to-left (RTL) scripts, an improved theming system and unified text completion behaviour in many modes and packages.

GNU Emacs now includes a Lisp-based package manager that can be used to list and install packages from a new package repository which is being maintained by the Emacs developers. The new commands list-packages and describe-package are the cornerstones of the new interface and once a user has installed modules through the new system, they will be loaded by GNU Emacs by default. In a similar vein, themes for the editor can now be installed by using the customize-themes command.

Support for languages such as Arabic, Farsi and Hebrew has been greatly improved, as GNU Emacs now correctly displays RTL scripts. Alongside of this, the documentation in these languages has also been improved. The editor now includes a unified text completion system that works with most modes and should therefore provide consistent behaviour throughout the program.

GNU Emacs can now be configured at compile time to support GTK+ 3, ImageMagick, libxml2 and GnuTLS for built-in SSL encryption. Rudimentary SELinux support can also be enabled with a build flag.

More information on this release is available in the GNU Emacs 24.1 NEWS file. The software can be downloaded from the GNU Project's FTP mirrors and is licensed under the GPLv3.


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