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Emacs 18 Antinews

   For those users who live backwards in time, here is information about
downgrading to Emacs version 18.  We hope you will enjoy the greater
simplicity that results from the absence of many Emacs 19 features.

Packages Removed

   To reduce the size of the distribution, we have eliminated numerous
packages including GNUS, VC (version control), Hexl (for editing binary
files), Edebug, Emerge, Mpuz, Spook, and Gomoku.

   Major modes removed in Emacs 18 include C++ mode, Awk mode, Icon
mode, Asm mode, Makefile mode, Perl mode and SGML mode.

   The function `enable-flow-control' does not exist; see the file
`PROBLEMS' in the Emacs distribution for directions for coping with
flow control.

   The Calendar feature provided is a very simple one.  All it can do is
display three months, by default centered around the current month.  If
you give it a numeric argument, that specifies the number of months
forward or back.

Fundamental Changes

   Auto save and garbage collection happen only while you are typing,
never while you are idle.  This is to make them more like affectionate
pets.  Think of them as cats that like to sit on your terminal only
when you are working there.

   Transient Mark mode and Line Number mode are absent in Emacs 18.  If
you are an Emacs user, you are smart enough to keep track of the mark
in your head, and you don't need line numbers because you can search
for precisely the text you want.

   There are no menu bars or scroll bars; no faces, text properties or

   There are no minibuffer history commands.

   There is only one frame, so the Emacs 19 `C-x 5' command series is
meaningless.  Instead, `C-x 5' in Emacs 18 splits the selected window
horizontally (like `C-x 3' in Emacs 19).

   Another simplification in Emacs 18 is that all input events are
characters.  Function keys and arrow keys are represented as sequences
of characters; the terminal-specific Emacs Lisp file for your terminal
is responsible for defining them.  Mouse buttons are defined by a
special keymap, `mouse-map'.  See the file `x-mouse.el' for how to bind
mouse clicks.

   Character codes 128 and above always display using `\NNN' notation.
For codes 0 through 31, you can choose between `\NNN' and `^C' by
setting the variable `ctl-arrow'; but that is the only thing you can
specify about how character codes should display.

   You can't refer to files on other machines using special "magic"
file names.  Instead, you must use the `ftp' library with commands such
as `M-x ftp-find-file' and `M-x ftp-write-file'.

   The character for terminating an incremental search is now ESC, not
RET as in Emacs 19.  If you type RET, that searches for a newline;
thus, you can insert a newline in the search string just as you would
insert it in the text.

Key Binding Changes

   The key for `backward-paragraph' is now `M-['.  The key for
`forward-paragraph' is now `M-]'.

   The command `repeat-complex-command' is now on `C-x ESC'.

   The register commands have different key bindings:

`C-x /'

`C-x j'

`C-x x'

`C-x g'

`C-x r'

   The narrowing commands have also been moved:

`C-x n'

`C-x p'

`C-x w'

   And the abbrev commands as well:

`C-x C-a'

`C-x +'

`C-x C-h'

`C-x -'

`C-x `'

   There are no key bindings for the rectangle commands.

   `C-x a' now runs the command `append-to-buffer'.

   The key bindings `C-x 4 r' and `C-x 4 C-o' do not exist.

   The help commands `C-h C-f', `C-h C-k' and `C-h p' do not exist in
Emacs 18.

   The command `C-M-l' (`reposition-window') is absent.  Likewise
`C-M-r' (`isearch-backward-regexp').

   The "two column" commands starting with `C-x 6' don't exist in Emacs

   The TeX mode bindings of `C-c {' and `C-c }' have been moved to
`M-{' and `M-}'.  (These commands are `up-list' and
`tex-insert-braces'; they are the TeX equivalents of `M-(' and `M-)'.)

Incremental Search Changes

   As mentioned above, the character for terminating an incremental
search is now ESC, not RET as in Emacs 19.  If you type RET, that
searches for a newline; thus, you can insert a newline in the search
string just as you would insert it in the text.

   There is no ring of previous search strings in Emacs 18.  You can
reuse the most recent search string, but that's all.

   If `case-fold-search' is non-`nil', then incremental search is
*always* case-insensitive.  Typing an upper-case letter in the search
string has no effect on this.

   Spaces in the incremental search string match only spaces.

   The meanings of the special search characters are no longer
controlled by a keymap.  Instead, particular variables named
`search-...-char' specify the character that should have a particular
function.  For example, `C-s' repeats the search because the value of
`search-repeat-char' is `?\C-s'.

Editing Command Changes

   `C-n' (`next-line') does not check the variable

   The sexp commands such as `C-M-f' no longer know anything about
comments, in modes such as Lisp mode where the end of a comment is the
end of the line.  They treat the text inside a comment as if it were
actual code.  If comments containing unbalanced parentheses cause
trouble, you can use the commands `C-M-n' and `C-M-p', which do ignore

   You can't store file names in registers, and there are no frame
configurations at all.  The command `M-x string-rectangle' does not
exist either.

   The undo command in Emacs 18 is not careful about where to leave
point when you undo a deletion.  It ends up at one end or the other of
the text just undeleted.  You must be on the lookout for this, and move
point appropriately.

   Kill commands do nothing useful in read-only buffers.  They just

   `M-z C' in Emacs 18 kills up to but not including the first
occurrence of C.  If C does not occur in the buffer after point, `M-z'
kills the whole rest of the buffer.

   The function `erase-buffer' is not a command in Emacs 18.  You can
call it from a Lisp program, but not interactively.  The motivation for
this is to protect you from accidentally deleting (not killing) the
entire text of a buffer that you want to keep.  With subsequent changes
in even earlier Emacs versions (such as version 18.54), you might be
unable to undo the `erase-buffer'.

   `M-x fill-nonuniform-paragraphs' and Adaptive Fill mode do not exist.

Other Brief Notes

   Outline mode exists only as a major mode, not as a minor mode.

   `M-!' (`shell-command') always runs the command synchronously, even
if the command ends with `&'.

   Emacs 18 has no special mode for change log files.  It is a good idea
to use Indented Text mode, and specify 8 as the value of the variable

   The command `M-x comment-region' does not exist.  The command `M-x
super-apropos' does not exist.

   `C-x q' (`kbd-macro-query') now uses `C-d' to terminate all
iterations of the keyboard macro, rather than ESC.

   The `M-x setenv' command is missing in Emacs 18.

   `M-$' now uses the Unix spell program instead of the GNU program
Ispell.  If the word around point is a misspelling, it asks you for a

   To check spelling of larger units of text, use `M-x spell-region' or
`M-x spell-buffer'.  These commands check all words in the specified
piece of text.  For each word that is not correct, they ask you to
specify a replacement, and then replace each occurrence.

   `M-x gdb' still exists in Emacs 18.  `M-x dbx' exists, but is
somewhat different (use `C-h m' to find the details).  `M-x sdb' does
not exist at all, but who wants to use SDB?

   In Buffer Menu mode, the commands `%' and `C-o' don't work in Emacs
18.  The `v' command has been eliminated and merged with the `q'
command, which now exits the buffer menu, displaying all the buffers
that you have marked.

   The View commands (such as `M-x view-buffer' and `M-x view-file')
now use recursive edits.  When you exit viewing, the recursive edit
returns to its caller.

   Emacs 18, like most programs, interprets command line options only
when it is started-not later on.

   The variable to control whether files can set local variables is
called `inhibit-local-variables'.  A non-`nil' value means ask the user
before obeying any local variables lists.

   The user option for controlling use of the `eval' local variable is
now called `inhibit-local-eval'.  A non-`nil' value means to ask the
user before obeying any `eval' local variable.

File Handling Changes

   As mentioned above, you can't refer to files on other machines using
special "magic" file names.  Instead, you must use the `ftp' library
with commands such as `M-x ftp-find-file' and `M-x ftp-write-file'.

   When you run `M-x revert-buffer' with no prefix argument, if the
buffer has an auto save file more recent that the visited file,
`revert-buffer' asks whether to revert from the auto save file instead.

   When `C-x s' (`save-some-buffers') offers to save each buffer, you
have only two choices: save it, or don't save it.

   `M-x recover-file' turns off Auto Save mode in the current buffer.
To turn it on again, use `M-x auto-save-mode'.

   The command `M-x rename-uniquely' does not exist; instead, use `M-x
rename-buffer' and try various names until you find one that isn't in
use.  Completion can make this easier.

   The directory name abbreviation feature is gone in Emacs 18.

   Emacs 18 has no idea of file truenames, and does not try to detect
when you visit a file via a symbolic link.  You should check manually
when you visit a file, so as to edit it in the directory where it is
actually stored.  This way you can make sure that backup files and
change log entries go in the proper directory.

   `M-x compare-windows' ignores any prefix argument and always
considers case and whitespace differences significant.  As for the
other ways of comparing files, `M-x diff' and `M-x diff-backup', they
don't exist at all.

Mail Changes

   `%' is now a word-component character in Mail mode.  This is to be
compatible with Text mode.

   The variable `mail-signature' is not meaningful; if you wish to
insert your signature in a mail message, you must type `C-c C-w'.

   Mail aliases expand only when you send the message--never when you
type them in.

   Rmail now gets new mail into your primary mail file from `~/mbox' as
well as from your system inbox file.  This is handy if you occasionally
check your newest mail with the `mail' program; whatever you have
looked at and saved with `mail' will be brought into Rmail the next
time you run Rmail.

   The Rmail summary buffer is now much simpler.  Only a few special
commands are available there: `n', `p', and `j' for motion, `d' and `u'
for deletion, and SPC and DEL for scrolling the message.  To do
anything else, you must go to the Rmail buffer.  Also, changes in the
Rmail buffer don't update the summary; to do that, you must make a new

   The Rmail command `rmail-resend' (accessible via `f' with a prefix
argument in Emacs 19) does not exist in Emacs 18.  Neither does
`rmail-retry-failure' (`M-m' in Emacs 19).

   The `e' command is now "expunge", just like `x'.  To edit the
current message, type `w', which works in Emacs 19 as well.  If you
type `e' meaning to edit, and it expunges instead--well, you shouldn't
have deleted those messages if you still wanted them.

   The `<' and `b' commands have been removed in Emacs 18.  Likewise
`C-M-t' (`rmail-summarize-by-topic') and `M-x unrmail'.  Rmail in Emacs
18 is so good, that we can't imagine anyone who has tried it would ever
wish to use another mail reader.

   The default output file for `o' is now always the last file that you
used with `o'.  The variable `rmail-output-file-alist' has no special

   Emacs 18 Rmail does not know anything about Content Length fields in

C Mode Changes

   In C mode, the keys `M-a' and `M-e' now have their usual meanings:
motion by sentences.  This is useful while editing the comments in a C
program, but not useful for editing code.  We hope this will encourage
you to write lots of comments.

   The commands `M-x c-up-conditional' and `M-x c-backslash-region' have
been removed entirely in Emacs 18.

Compilation Changes

   `M-x compile' now has a much simpler and faster parser for error
messages.  However, it understands fewer different formats for error
messages, and is not as easy to customize.

   There is no special mode for compilation buffers.  When you select
the compilation buffer itself, it is just ordinary text.

   Speaking of selecting the compilation buffer, you do need to do that
from time to time to see whether the compilation has finished, because
Emacs 18 does not display `Compiling' in the mode line to tell you the
compilation is still going.

Shell Mode

   Shell mode in Emacs 18 does nothing special for the keys TAB, `M-?',
`C-a', `C-d'.  The commands `M-x dirs' and `M-x send-invisible' are
also gone.

   The history commands `M-p' and so on are not available either;
instead, use `C-c C-y' (`copy-last-shell-input').  This copies the
previous bunch of shell input, and inserts it into the buffer before
point.  No final newline is inserted, and the input copied is not
resubmitted until you type RET.

   Use `C-c C-d' to send an "end of file" to the shell process.

Dired Changes

   For simplicity, Dired in Emacs 18 supports just one kind of mark: the
deletion flag, `*'.  The Emacs 19 Dired commands for flagging files do
work in Emacs 18, but all the other mark-related commands do not.

   The Dired subdirectory commands don't exist in Emacs 18.  A Dired
buffer can contain only one directory.  In particular, this means that
the variable `dired-listing-switches' must not contain the `R' option.
(The `F' option is also not allowed.)

   The commands for using `find' with Dired have been removed for
simplicity, also.

   Emacs 18 Dired provides the following commands for manipulating files
immediately, and no others.  All of these commands apply to the file
listed on the current line.

     Copies the file described on the current line.  You must supply a
     file name to copy to, using the minibuffer.

     Visits the file described on the current line.  It is just like
     typing `C-x C-f' and supplying that file name.  If the file on
     this line is a subdirectory, `f' actually causes Dired to be
     invoked on that subdirectory.

     Change the group of the file described on the current line.

     Change the file mode of the file described on the current line.

     Like `f', but uses another window to display the file's buffer.
     The Dired buffer remains visible in the first window.  This is
     like using `C-x 4 C-f' to visit the file.

     Change the owner of the file described on the current line.  (On
     most systems, you must be a superuser to do this.)

     Renames the file described on the current line.  You must supply a
     file name to rename to, using the minibuffer.

     Views the file described on this line using `M-x view-file'.
     Viewing a file is like visiting it, but is slanted toward moving
     around in the file conveniently and does not allow changing the

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