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GNU is Not Unix

RMS Steps Down As Emacs Maintainer 321

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the evangelism-is-time-consuming dept.
sigzero writes "Short but sweet: RMS is stepping down as Emacs Maintainer: 'From: Richard Stallman, Subject: Re: Looking for a new Emacs maintainer or team, Date: Fri, 22 Feb 2008 17:57:22 -0500 Stefan and Yidong offered to take over, so I am willing to hand over Emacs development to them."
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RMS Steps Down As Emacs Maintainer

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  • Maybe... (Score:5, Funny)

    by imageboard (1038004) on Saturday February 23, 2008 @11:54AM (#22526998)
    Maybe he switched to vim.
  • by ozmanjusri (601766) <aussie_bob@@@hotmail...com> on Saturday February 23, 2008 @11:55AM (#22527004) Journal
    Concise, elegant and minimalistic, just like Emacs.

    no, wait....

  • by InterruptDescriptorT (531083) on Saturday February 23, 2008 @11:56AM (#22527024) Homepage
    I thought emacs had become self-aware by now...
  • by flyneye (84093) on Saturday February 23, 2008 @11:57AM (#22527032) Homepage
    EMACS the only software you need.
    I remember being told this before rushing home to d/l and install it.
    It gave me a hunger for linux too and though I never mastered its complexities for most things I do,It is amazing and I hope it stays maintained.
    RMS is amazing,I wish him well in any venture he chooses.

    • by smitty_one_each (243267) * on Saturday February 23, 2008 @12:24PM (#22527230) Homepage Journal

      EMACS the only software you need.
      For certain values of "need".
      For example, to make picture-mode work for photographs, you'd need a canvas about the size of an aircraft carrier flight deck to express the pixels as text, more RAM than Dodge's truck division to hold the image, and a great deal of patience to scroll it on a typical LCD.
      Really, it's OK to pick the proper tool for the job.
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by tlink (790381)
        Just take a smaller font and the image should fit right in.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by pthisis (27352)
        For example, to make picture-mode work for photographs, you'd need a canvas about the size of an aircraft carrier flight deck to express the pixels as text, more RAM than Dodge's truck division to hold the image, and a great deal of patience to scroll it on a typical LCD.

        Or go with the XEmacs fork, which supports real bitmaps (and has been maintained without RMS for years).
  • by griffjon (14945) <GriffJon&gmail,com> on Saturday February 23, 2008 @11:59AM (#22527042) Homepage Journal
    You could've predicted this using C-x M-c M-Butterfly [xkcd.org] while editing emacs code inside emacs...
  • Wow (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 23, 2008 @12:14PM (#22527132)
    A bit like Castro leaving power.
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by BrentH (1154987)
      You think this is a coincidence?
      • Re:Wow (Score:5, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 23, 2008 @01:15PM (#22527578)
        Of course any comparisons between the two men are absurd. One's a bearded, long-winded Communist dictator who tolerates no dissent; the other one speaks Spanish.

        I kid, I kid... all the best wishes for RMS and Emacs both.
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by vga_init (589198)
          You may not know this, but RMS actually speaks Spanish.
  • Emacs bloat (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 23, 2008 @12:20PM (#22527198)
    I love emacs and RMS' work over the years.. but... The last great emacs release was 19.34b. Every release since then has suffered badly from bloat and other crud. Unfortunately 19.34b doesn't compile on any modern platform (though in 1998 it could be compiled in under 10 seconds on an Origin 2000 with 8 CPUs).

    Bring back 19.34b!
    • by dventimi (107266) on Saturday February 23, 2008 @12:40PM (#22527336) Homepage
      You wrote, "Every release since then has suffered badly from bloat and other crud."

      Please explain.
      • MULE was probably the worst offender.
        • Here is a transcript:
          Me: Every release since 19.34b has suffered badly from bloat and other crud.
          Emacs: What would happen if 19 34b has suffered badly from bloat and other crud?
          Me: MULE was probably the worst offender.
          Emacs: Why do you say mule was probably the worst offender?
          Me: Such a fat jackass, that MULE.
          Emacs: Can you elaborate on that?
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by bcrowell (177657)
      I like mg, which is a tiny, fast clone of emacs. I only revert to using emacs on the rare occasions when I need to do something fancy that mg can't do. On my (pretty fast) system, emacs -nw takes 2 seconds to start up, which is annoying and totally unnecessary when all I want to do is some simple text editing. I also found that with emacs, I was spending a lot of time websurfing for information on how to turn off features that I didn't want (syntax coloring, automatic indentation, ...). "Open the pod bay do
    • I love you (Score:5, Funny)

      by Per Abrahamsen (1397) on Saturday February 23, 2008 @02:01PM (#22527882) Homepage
      Oh, Emacs just recently acquired bloat and feeping creaturism?

      Actually, I see the problem as the exact opposite. It used to be that people would ask themselves "I got this huge powerful 20 MHz computer with 4 megabytes of RAM, how will I ever I ever use all that power", and the nerd overhearing it would answer "use Emacs", and despite advances in computers, Emacs could keep track and was always the program that could fully utilize your hardware.

      However, somewhere along the way we lost out to the competition. I see kids in the Emacs fora who, with a straight face, say they prefer Emacs because it is such as lean and mean editing machine. It is so sad. People nowadays go to Microsoft, KDE or Gnome for software to fully utilize their machines. In the olden days, Emacs would have offered a superset of all of these environments!

      I think it is good RMS is stepping back. We need young people to revitalize Emacs, and once again make it a leader in resource consumption. We need to get back to our roots. We need EGACS: Eight Gigabytes And Constantly Swapping.

    • by igb (28052) on Saturday February 23, 2008 @07:51PM (#22530356)
      It's been downhill since the late 17s, in fact. The moment the whole debacle with Epoch, Lucid etc sprung up, emacs became an exercise in people with great programming skills but minimal taste. Windowing support was the last straw: none of them are any good, and they clutter the editor up. Disclaimer: I am not innocent. I wrote the original code that went into the late 17s to provide support for emacs in Suntools. Partly because X11 standardisation was late arriving, emacs got cluttered with Suntools, NeWS, Apollo, X10 and X11 windowing, none of it good enough to be better than leaving the hell alone. And anyway, although I love GNU emacs to death and I've been using emacsen of various forms for twenty-five years (well, since December 1983), whisper it who dares that actually Greenberg's Multics Emacs had the benefit of being written in genuine MacLisp, including the redisplay loop, whereas GNU Emacs is actually mostly written in C. A trip into the Multics emacs source code is well worthwhile: some of the problems it's solving (redisplay onto vt100 displays down 300 baud circuits) aren't interesting per se, but the approaches most certainly are.
  • hmm (Score:5, Funny)

    by ImTheDarkcyde (759406) <ImTheDarkcyde@hotmail.com> on Saturday February 23, 2008 @12:22PM (#22527204) Journal
    Since I actually had to google "RMS" does it mean I must delete my /. account?
  • by The Breeze (140484) on Saturday February 23, 2008 @12:23PM (#22527216) Homepage
    Yes, it's true that RMS will no longer the main Emacs maintainer, but the truth is he will still be very close to the project. RMS is merely shifting to a subset; he has dedicated himself to filling a gap that has been missing in the Emacs operating system for a long time; the lack of a robust, powerful, yet easy-to-use editor.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by AndrewRUK (543993)

      ...he has dedicated himself to filling a gap that has been missing in the Emacs operating system for a long time; the lack of a robust, powerful, yet easy-to-use editor.
      What are you talking about? There's an excellent text editor for Emacs, you just enter M-x viper-mode and away you go...
  • by superash (1045796) on Saturday February 23, 2008 @12:24PM (#22527228)
    ...you stole the thunder from Bill gates! He was gonna step down soon and now you ruined it!
  • Goodbye (Score:5, Funny)

    by digitalderbs (718388) on Saturday February 23, 2008 @12:24PM (#22527234)
    C-x C-c, RMS. C-x C-c.
  • by LingNoi (1066278) on Saturday February 23, 2008 @12:38PM (#22527316)
    Does this mean he will have more time to work on HURD and get that out the door before Duke Nukem Forever?
  • by LingNoi (1066278) on Saturday February 23, 2008 @12:50PM (#22527388)
    He needs more time out because he is starting a new career in break dancing.. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pube5Aynsls [youtube.com]
  • I thought that RMS would have resigned a long time ago to focus on his life of activism. I'm surprised it has taken this long for him to step down.
  • by bdjacobson (1094909) on Saturday February 23, 2008 @12:59PM (#22527444)
    "Took him 32 years to find the key combination for this"
  • by Threni (635302) on Saturday February 23, 2008 @01:29PM (#22527674)
    I guess the guys behind Notepad can now take a well needed vacation!
  • by fahrbot-bot (874524) on Saturday February 23, 2008 @01:30PM (#22527682)
    Needs more time for beard maintenance. :-)
  • by Freed (2178) on Saturday February 23, 2008 @04:08PM (#22528804)
    RMS is just too busy with more important things like software freedom in general and needs to delegate. BTW, it's not as if RMS has always been the _maintainer_ of Emacs--from the acknowlegements:

    "Gerd Moellmann was the Emacs maintainer from the beginning of Emacs 21 development until the release of 21.1."

    Yet RMS has had a decades-long involvement with Emacs. It seems he will continue to be involved, so what's the big deal? More generally, GNU has always been about freedom first, development second.
  • by porky_pig_jr (129948) on Saturday February 23, 2008 @04:37PM (#22529008)
    Jokes aside, after trying many free and commercial LaTeX editors, I ended up running Auctex under Emacs. Beats anything else. That's my main usage of Emacs (and I use LaTeX a lot, to typeset math staff).

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