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8 Other External Packages

This is part 8 of the XEmacs Frequently Asked Questions list. This section is devoted to miscellaneous external packages not covered elsewhere in XEmacs.

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8.0: TeX

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Q8.0.1: Is there something better than LaTeX mode?

David Kastrup writes:

The standard TeX modes leave much to be desired, and are somewhat leniently maintained. Serious TeX users use AUCTeX (see section What is AUCTeX? Where do you get it?).

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Q8.0.2: What is AUCTeX? Where do you get it?

AUCTeX is a complex and sophisticated editing package dedicated to TeX and related text formatting languages, including LaTeX and Texinfo. It provides support for running TeX on a file or part of a file, include files, and of course shortcuts for entering common TeX macros, LaTeX environments, etc, and for fontlock.

AUCTeX is a standard package provided by XEmacs. You can get it as usual through the M-x list-packages interface. It is also included in the (non-Mule) SUMO package. The AUCTeX XEmacs package is maintained by Uwe Brauer <GET MAIL ADDRESS>.

AUCTeX is extremely complicated, and its developers primarily use GNU Emacs. Not all features of the bleeding edge version of AUCTeX are immediately ported to XEmacs; if you need these, you may be better off getting the most recent versions from the GNU AUCTeX project on http://savannah.gnu.org.

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Q8.0.3: Problems installing AUCTeX.

Jan Vroonhof writes:

AUCTeX works fine on both stock Emacs and XEmacs has been doing so for a very very long time. This is mostly due to the work of Per Abrahamsen (clap clap) in particular his ‘easymenu’ package. Which leads to what is probably the problem...

Most problems with AUCTeX are one of two things:

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Q8.0.4: How do I turn off current chapter from AUCTeX modeline?

With AUCTeX, fast typing is hard because the current chapter, section etc. are given in the modeline. How can I turn this off?

It’s not AUCTeX, it comes from func-menu in ‘func-menu.el’.

David Hughes writes:

Try this; you’ll still get the function name displayed in the modeline, but it won’t attempt to keep track when you modify the file. To refresh when it gets out of synch, you simply need click on the ‘Rescan Buffer’ option in the function-menu.

(setq-default fume-auto-rescan-buffer-p nil)

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8.1: Other Unbundled Packages

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Q8.1.1: Is there a reason for an Emacs package not to be included in XEmacs?

The reason for an Emacs package not to be included in XEmacs is usually one or more of the following:

  1. The package has not been ported to XEmacs. This will typically happen when it uses GNU-Emacs-specific features, which make it fail under XEmacs.

    Porting a package to XEmacs can range from a trivial amount of change to a partial or full rewrite. Fortunately, the authors of modern packages usually choose to support both Emacsen themselves.

  2. The package has been decided not to be appropriate for XEmacs. It may have an equivalent or better replacement within XEmacs, in which case the developers may choose not to burden themselves with supporting an additional package.

    Each package bundled with XEmacs means more work for the maintainers, whether they want it or not. If you are ready to take over the maintenance responsibilities for the package you port, be sure to say so—we will more likely include it.

  3. The package simply hasn’t been noted by the XEmacs development. If that’s the case, the messages like yours are very useful for attracting our attention.
  4. The package was noted by the developers, but they simply haven’t yet gotten around to including/porting it. Wait for the next release or, even better, offer your help. It will be gladly accepted and appreciated.

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Q8.1.2: Are there any Emacs Lisp Spreadsheets?

Yes. Check out dismal (which stands for Dis’ Mode Ain’t Lotus) at http://acs.ist.psu.edu/dismal/dismal.html.

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Q8.1.3: Is there a MatLab mode?

Yes, a matlab mode and other items are available at the http://www.mathworks.com/matlabcentral/files/104/matlab.el.

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8.2: Environments Built Around XEmacs

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Q8.2.1: What are SPARCworks, EOS, and WorkShop?

SPARCworks was a development environment from Sun (circa 1993-1996) and consisted of compilers (C, C++, FORTRAN 77, Fortran 90, Ada, and Pascal), a debugger, and other tools such as TeamWare (for configuration management), MakeTool, etc.

EOS is the integration of XEmacs with the SPARCworks debugger. It allows one to use an XEmacs frame to view code (complete with fontification, etc.), set breakpoints, print variables, etc., while using the SPARCworks debugger.

EOS stands for "Era on SPARCworks"; Era stood for "Emacs Rewritten Again" and was the name used by Sun for its modified version of Lucid Emacs (later XEmacs) in the early-mid 90’s. This is documented in more detail in the history section of the XEmacs About page.

EOS was replaced around 1996 with a newer graphical development environment called Sun WorkShop. The current status of this is unknown.

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Q8.2.2: How do I start the Sun Workshop support in XEmacs 21?

Add the switch —with-workshop to the configure command when building XEmacs and put the following in one of your startup files (e.g. site-start.el or .emacs):

(when (featurep 'tooltalk)
  (load "tooltalk-macros")
  (load "tooltalk-util")
  (load "tooltalk-init"))
(when (featurep 'sparcworks)
  (load "sunpro-init")
  (load "ring")
  (load "comint")
  (load "annotations")

If you are not using the latest Workshop (5.0) you have to apply the following patch:

— /opt/SUNWspro/lib/eserve.el.ORIG    Fri May 14 15:23:26 1999
+++ /opt/SUNWspro/lib/eserve.el Fri May 14 15:24:54 1999
@@ -42,7 +42,7 @@
 (defvar running-xemacs nil "t if we’re running XEmacs")
 (defvar running-emacs  nil "t if we’re running GNU Emacs 19")

-(if (string-match "^\\(19\\|20\\)\..*\\(XEmacs\\|Lucid\\)" emacs-version)
+(if (string-match "\\(XEmacs\\|Lucid\\)" emacs-version)
     (setq running-xemacs t)
     (setq running-emacs  t))

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Q8.2.3: What is/was Energize?

The "Energize Programming System" was a C and C++ development environment sold by Lucid, Inc. It was the reason why Lucid Emacs, now XEmacs, was created in the first place. Unfortunately, Lucid went out of business in 1994. The rights to sell it in Japan were purchased by INS Engineering (which briefly employed Stig Hackvan aka Jonathan Stigelman to work on Japanese support for XEmacs, in late 1994 and early 1995) and Tartan bought the rights to sell it in the rest of the world. However, INS is not selling Energize at this point and may or may not have ever done so; Tartan certainly never did.

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Q8.2.4: What is Infodock?

InfoDock is an integrated productivity toolset, mainly aimed at technical people, hosted at SourceForge.

InfoDock is built atop the XEmacs variant of GNU Emacs and so has all of the power of Emacs, but with an easier to use and more comprehensive menu-based user interface. The bottom portion of this text describes how it differs from XEmacs and GNU Emacs from the Free Software Foundation.

InfoDock is aimed at people who want a free, turn-key productivity environment. Although InfoDock is customizable, it is not intended for people who like basic versions of Emacs which need to be customized extensively for local use; standard Emacs distributions are better for such uses. InfoDock is for those people who want a complete, pre-customized environment in one package, which they need not touch more than once or twice a year to update to new revisions.

InfoDock is pre-built for SPARC SunOS/Solaris systems, PA-RISC HP-UX, and Intel Linux systems. It is intended for use on a color display, although most features will work on monochrome monitors. Simply unpack InfoDock according to the instructions in the ID-INSTALL file and you are ready to run.

The InfoDock Manual is concise, yet sufficient as a user guide for users who have never used an Emacs-type editor before. For users who are already familiar with Emacs, it supplements the information in the GNU Emacs Manual.

InfoDock menus are much more extensive and more mature than standard Emacs menus. Each menu offers a ‘Manual’ item which displays documentation associated with the menu’s functions.

Four types of menubars are provided:

  1. An extensive menubar providing access to global InfoDock commands.
  2. Mode-specific menubars tailored to the current major mode.
  3. A simple menubar for basic editing to help novices get started with InfoDock.
  4. The standard XEmacs menubar.

Most modes also include mode-specific popup menus. Additionally, region and rectangle popup menus are included.

Hyperbole’, the everyday information manager, is a core part of InfoDock. This provides context-sensitive mouse keys, a rolodex-type contact manager, programmable hypertext buttons, and an autonumbered outliner with embedded hyperlink anchors.

The ‘OO-Browser’, a multi-language object-oriented code browser, is a standard part of InfoDock.

InfoDock saves a more extensive set of user options than other Emacs versions.

InfoDock inserts a useful file header in many file types, showing the author, summary, and last modification time of each file. A summary program can then be used to summarize all of the files in a directory, for easy MANIFEST file creation.

Your working set of buffers is automatically saved and restored (if you answer yes to a prompt) between InfoDock sessions.

Refined color choices for code highlighting are provided for both dark and light background display frames.

The C-z key prefix performs frame-based commands which parallel the C-x key prefix for window-based commands.

The Smart Menu system is included for producing command menus on dumb terminals.

Lisp libraries are better categorized according to function.

Extensions and improvements to many areas of Emacs are included, such as: paragraph filling, mail reading with Rmail, shell handling, outlining, code highlighting and browsing, and man page browsing.

InfoDock questions, answers and discussion should go to the mail list infodock@infodock.com. Use infodock-request@infodock.com to be added or removed from the list. Always include your InfoDock version number when sending help requests.

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