Appendix E Emacs 23 Antinews
For those users who live backwards in time, here is information
about downgrading to Emacs version 23.4. We hope you will enjoy the
greater simplicity that results from the absence of many Emacs
- Support for displaying and editing “bidirectional” text has been
removed. Text is now always displayed on the screen in a single
consistent direction—left to right—regardless of the underlying
script. Similarly, C-f and C-b always move the text
cursor to the right and left respectively. Also, <RIGHT> and
<LEFT> are now equivalent to C-f and C-b, as you might
expect, rather than moving forward or backward based on the underlying
Users of “right-to-left” languages, like Arabic and Hebrew, may
adapt by reading and/or editing text in left-to-right order.
- The Emacs Lisp package manager has been removed. Instead of using a
“user interface” (M-x list-packages), additional Lisp packages
must now be installed by hand, which is the most flexible and
“Lispy” method anyway. Typically, this just involves editing your
init file to add the package installation directory to the load path
and defining some autoloads; see each package's commentary section
and/or README file for details.
- The option
delete-active-region has been deleted. When the
region is active, typing <DEL> or <Delete> no longer deletes
the text in the region; it deletes a single character instead.
- We have reworked how Emacs handles the clipboard and the X primary
selection. Commands for killing and yanking, like C-w and
C-y, use the primary selection and not the clipboard, so you can
use these commands without interfering with “cutting” or “pasting”
in other programs. The ‘Cut’/‘Copy’/‘Paste’ menu items
are bound to separate clipboard commands, not to the same commands as
Selecting text by dragging with the mouse now puts the text in the
kill ring, in addition to the primary selection. But note that
selecting an active region with C-<SPC> does not
alter the kill ring nor the primary selection, even though the text
highlighting is visually identical.
- In Isearch, C-y and M-y are no longer bound to
Instead, C-y yanks the rest of the current line into the search
isearch-yank-line), whereas M-y does
isearch-yank-kill. The mismatch with the usual meanings of
C-y and M-y is unintended.
- Various completion features have been simplified. The option
completion-category-overrides has been removed, so Emacs uses a
single consistent scheme to generate completions, instead of using a
separate scheme for (say) buffer name completion. Several major
modes, such as Shell mode, now implement their own inline completion
commands instead of using
- We have removed several options for controlling how windows are used,
- The command M-x customize-themes has been removed. Emacs no
longer comes with pre-defined themes (you can write your own).
- Emacs no longer adapts various aspects of its display to GTK+
settings, opting instead for a uniform toolkit-independent look. GTK+
scroll bars are placed on the left, the same position as non-GTK+ X
scroll bars. Emacs no longer refers to GTK+ to set the default
region face, nor for drawing tooltips.
- Setting the option
delete-by-moving-to-trash to a
nil value now causes all file deletions to use the system trash,
even temporary files created by Lisp programs; furthermore, the
M-x delete-file and M-x delete-directory commands no
longer accept prefix arguments to force true deletion.
- On GNU/Linux and Unix, the default method for sending mail (as
send-mail-function) is to use the
sendmail program. Emacs no longer asks for a delivery
method the first time you try to send mail, trusting instead that the
system is configured for mail delivery, as it ought to be.
- Several VC features have been removed, including the C-x v + and
C-x v m commands for pulling and merging on distributed version
control systems, and the ability to view inline log entries in the log
buffers made by C-x v L.
- To keep up with decreasing computer memory capacity and disk space, many
other functions and files have been eliminated in Emacs 23.4.