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Old 02-02-2004, 10:44 PM   #1
Registered: Dec 2003
Location: Voluntarily move into diaster relief areas.
Distribution: Upgraded from Suse 10 to Ubuntu.
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Can emacs easily do what textpad does?

Can emacs easily do what textpad does?

When Richard Stallman showed emacs to me in 1977,
I wanted some of the features. But I was later stupid enough
to also want to be part of the crowd going for m$-dos and
windows 3++$$. So after shelling out $4digits++ for
multiple copies of multiple versions and seeing a never
ending mess of patches on bugs, I tried to insulate myself by
using textpad, a shareware program sort of like emacs. Now I am
using Open software most of the time now and want it exclusively
sometime near in the future. But I must do it so that my
students and readers can/will follow me.

However there are a few things textpad does which I can't figure
out how to do in emacs21. I know the smart aleck answer is use Lisp
and you can do everything. But I am a professor and author doing
most of my teaching & writing in third world countries like Indonesia
and China where nearly all students just steal m$ and use simple
minded shareware or commercial programs without paying for them.
Even the ones who could program are so mired in corruption and
theft that they rarely program anything.

In textpad, we can search an entire hard disk looking for
regexp. When results are found, textpad lists all of the
pathnames and a snip from the line containing the expression.
We can just click on the pathname and textpad will start
editing that file. If it is html, we right-click and textpad
sends a message for the default browser to show it.

In emacs21, if I start a search at / it doesn't take long to
crash. If I am crippled to do only one directory at a time
it always ends with the message that grep terminated abnormally.
Once I have pathnames, I have to mark, move, C-w, C-y, C-x C-f,
C-y and then if it is html I have to hit the browser with the
mouse then erase the default URL then C-y.

I am sure that emacs21 and Lisp can both do things textpad
can't do but will someone help me so that I can help my students
get started with this stuff that every beginner needs to do
everyday if they are going to be well organized and learn huge
systems such as debian on their own. In developed countries,
people just jump on google and find stuff. Here most poor
students don't have Internet access and those who do are on
such poor connections that they can't search as fast as

I asked here first because I usually get good answers here.
I was shocked to not find an emacs forum. If someone doesn't
know the answer but knows a better emacs forum please
point me there.
Old 02-02-2004, 11:12 PM   #2
Registered: Apr 2002
Location: in a fallen world
Distribution: slackware by choice, others too :} ... android.
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I have no idea how you invoke the search in Emacs,
but haven't got any problems with crashing it using
M-x find-grep-dired
That's emacs 21.2.2, Slackware build ...

Old 02-03-2004, 05:34 AM   #3
Registered: Nov 2003
Location: Oxford
Distribution: Mandrake
Posts: 158

Rep: Reputation: 30
for searching forward
C-s, for reverse C-r
to find again C-s ,or C-r.
Have alook at emacs manul, you can practically do everything. U can always open a new buffer to open a given file.


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