[OS X Emacs] Returning to Emacs

David Frascone dave at frascone.com
Thu Apr 15 11:19:12 EDT 2010

Like most of you, I started my unix experience YEARS ago with vi.  About ten
years ago, I started using emacs, and was a religious zealot for several
years.  But, times changed, jobs changed, and I found myself using whatever
was around.  It got tedious to move my emacs configuration around, and,
Xemacs (I was using a sun version of Xemacs) was barely compatible with
emacs, at the time.

Anyway, now I'm fully entrenched into OS X, and I've decided to move from
Textmate back to emacs.  Mainly because I'm working on Linux boxes all day,
using my Mac to ssh into them, and I want an editor that I can run on my
mac, and, on the linux boxes, without screwing up keystrokes all the time.
So, given this transition, I've got several, completely unrelated (to each
other) questions:

   1. Not to start a flame war, but, now that Aquamacs is based on version
   23, and cocoa-emacs is not going to be maintained any more, there are only
   three viable emacsen to choose from: Aquamacs,
http://emacsformacosx.com/and the emacs that comes on OS X in the
terminal.  Is there a guide anywhere
   showing the major differences?  For me, pretty much a noob to OS X emacs, I
   only notice two major differences between Emacs.app and Aquamacs:  Aquamacs
   has tabs, and, Aquamacs uses CMD for meta, instead of Option.
   2. Slightly related to the above, does anyone know how to make the Meta
   keys all the same?  If I ssh to a linux box, and have the X display set
   right, the CMD is the meta key.  If I unset it, and use the terminal
   version, the option key is the meta.  Similarly, in a terminal on OS X the
   option is the meta key.  I'd like for all my Meta's to be the same, for
   obvious reasons . . any ideas?
   3. Emacs is a very big hammer. . . . but, I know the fallacy of
   everything looking like a nail.  I considered using ERC for irc, then using
   BitlBee to move all IM over to it.  But, then, if I need to refresh my
   emacs.el, I'd lose all my sessions, etc.  So, instead, I decided to move my
   IRC over to adium, so I have all my chats in one place.  Do any of you guys
   use emacs to replace any of OS X's normal tools?  (i.e. I use Thunderbird
   instead of Mail.app, and I know emacs does mail, but, seems like a bit of an
   overkill to use it for everything, just because it *can* do everything --
   what does it really do best, on OS X, besides edit text files)?

I guess that's about it . . . sorry if any of these questions cause
flamage.  I attempted to search the archives, but there wasn't any search
function, and I got tired of clicking the different months :)

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