4.8 What is different about Emacs 24?
Emacs now includes a package manager. Type M-x list-packages to
get started. You can use this to download and automatically install
many more Lisp packages.
Emacs Lisp now supports lexical binding on a per-file basis. In
lexical binding, variable references must be located textually
within the binding construct. This contrasts with dynamic
binding, where programs can refer to variables defined outside their
local textual scope. A Lisp file can use a local variable setting of
lexical-binding: t to indicate that the contents should be
interpreted using lexical binding. See the Emacs Lisp Reference
Manual for more details.
Some human languages, such as English, are written from left to right.
Others, such as Arabic, are written from right to left. Emacs now has
support for any mixture of these forms—this is “bidirectional text”.
- Handling of text selections has been improved, and now integrates
better with external clipboards.
A new command customize-themes allows you to easily change the
appearance of your Emacs.
- Emacs can be compiled with the GTK+ 3 toolkit.
- Support for several new external libraries can be included at compile
- “Security-Enhanced Linux” (SELinux) is a Linux kernel feature that
provides more sophisticated file access controls than ordinary
“Unix-style” file permissions.
- The ImageMagick display library. This allows you to display many more
image format in Emacs, as well as carry out transformations such as
- The GnuTLS library for secure network communications. Emacs uses this
transparently for email if your mail server supports it.
- The libxml2 library for parsing XML structures.
- Much more flexibility in the handling of windows and buffer display.
Consult the Emacs NEWS.24 file for the full list of changes in