Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Emacs 2.0 ... one instance for everyone

There have long been arguments of Emacs v vi and which is better. I was one of those who saw Emacs as the stronger enterprise tool, and vi as the quick hack it editor when you didn't have time to boot both the computer and Emacs. With all this talk of "rich desktops" and "rich applications" it made me think....

Well with Web 2.0 and Google Docs showing us the way its time for Emacs to finally dominate. One of the features I loved in XEmacs was being able to have multiple people working on one code base in one editor, just fire up a window on another machine and you are away. Both editing the same code, pair programming in the truest sense of the word.

Now we can go a stage further, Emacs 2.0, the Web hosted single instance of Emacs served up to every browser on the planet. Everyone editing inside the same Emacs session, everyone able to share the same information, everyone able to use a Mayan Calendar to plan their projects.

This is what the vi people never realized. Emacs has just been waiting for the Web to become sufficiently mature and the PCs to become big enough to really enable to true power of Emacs. Web 2.0 is that infrastructure, it will become the plumbing that will put Emacs in every browser and finally finish the argument once and for all.

Never needs to reboot, never shut it down, always available. Need to browser the web? Do it inside Emacs 2.0. Need to run a global procurement system? Do it inside Emacs 2.0.

Emacs 2.0 will run as a virtual application hosted on all of the browsers on which it runs, it will become the base Operating system install on all new PCs and servers and it will provide a single shared environment for everyone on planet earth.

One editor, one instance, 6 billion users.


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3 comments:

Andy said...

Have you heard about the Easter egg in Emacs? Apparently if you look hard enough and long enough there is actually a text editor in there somewhere.

Similarly I believe Google have a fairly good search engine if you look hard enough.

:p ;)

Anonymous said...

Text editor ? I've been using it as an anti-virus scanner all these years - now it's a text editor !!

Anonymous said...

"Everyone editing inside the same Emacs session, everyone able to share the same information, everyone able to use a Mayan Calendar to plan their projects."

So that's what Emacs is for! I've been using wikipedia all this time, now I'll have to migrate my Mayan Calendar...