FSF Announces Version 21 of the GNU Emacs Editing Environment
A plain text version of this press
release is available.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Media Contact: Free Software Foundation
Bradley M. Kuhn <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Boston, Massachusetts, USA
- Monday, October 22, 2001 -
The Free Software Foundation announced today the 21.1 release of GNU
Emacs. Emacs is a Free Software multilingual text editor, licensed
under the GNU General Public License (GNU GPL).
Richard Stallman said, “Emacs 21 is a big step forward in our long-term
plan to take Emacs from a programmable text editor to a programmable word
Emacs 21.1 includes support for proportional fonts: characters in a line
can be of variable width and lines can have variable heights. It also
supports including images in text. Emacs 21.1 adds a number of new
user-interface features: it has tool bars for executing frequently used
commands, it supports native scroll bars, it displays tool tips, and it
has a mouse-sensitive mode line. Even on text-only terminals, Emacs 21.1
supports colors and other display attributes.
With the release of version 21.1, the Emacs development sources are
accessible via anonymous CVS from
The anonymous CVS services are provided by Savannah, GNU's
SourceForge-like system for project collaboration.
GNU Emacs 21.1 can be downloaded from the FTP directory at
However, users are encouraged to
use mirror sites for downloads, to decrease the load on GNU and FSF
servers. A list of mirrors can be found at
GNU Emacs 21.1 has already been packaged for Debian. Users of Debian
GNU/Linux's unstable branch can install GNU Emacs 21 via the native Debian
About GNU Emacs:
Emacs is the extensible, customizable, self-documenting real-time
If this seems to be a bit of a mouthful, an easier explanation is
Emacs is a text editor and more. At its core is an interpreter for
Emacs Lisp, a dialect of the Lisp programming language with extensions
to support text editing.
Some of the features of GNU Emacs include:
- Content-sensitive major modes for a wide variety of file types,
from plain text to source code to HTML files.
- Complete online documentation, including a tutorial for new
- Highly extensible through the Emacs Lisp language.
- Support for many languages and their scripts, including all the
European “Latin” scripts, Russian, Greek, Japanese, Chinese, Korean,
Thai, Vietnamese, Lao, Ethiopian, and some Indian scripts.
- Many extensions for jobs such as reading and sending mail,
reading net news, calendar, and diary. More Emacs extensions are
distributed separately—even a web browser.
History of Emacs:
Richard Stallman developed the original Emacs text editor in 1975 while
working at MIT. Emacs, first developed in 1975, is an extensible text
editor that allows the user to program editing commands. The original
Emacs used TECO as the user programming language. GNU Emacs, which uses
Lisp as the user programming language, was started in September 1984 as
part of developing the GNU operating system.
Emacs has undergone continuous development since that time, and has been
improved based on user bug reports and contributions from the Free
Software community. Emacs 19 added support for multiple frames using the
X Windowing System. Emacs 20 added multi-lingual support.
GNU is a Free Software Unix-like operating system. Development of GNU
began in 1984. http://www.gnu.org/gnu/the-gnu-project.html
more information about GNU and its history.
GNU/Linux is the integrated combination of the GNU operating system with
the kernel, Linux, written by Linus Torvalds in 1991. The various
versions of GNU/Linux have an estimated 20 million users.
Some people call the GNU/Linux system “Linux”, but this misnomer leads to
confusion (people cannot tell whether you mean the whole system or the
kernel, one part), and spreads an inaccurate picture of how, when and
where the system was developed. Making a consistent distinction between
GNU/Linux, the whole operating system, and Linux, the kernel, is the best
way to clear up the confusion. See
for more explanation.