Stop the presses! If there is any text editor that would be worth working with, that is GNU Emacs. The version in Debian's unstable (aka emacs-snapshot) is absolutely amazing. Some small (but nice) improvements that I could grasp with just five minutes of use of emacs-snapshot in comparison to Emacs 21 are:

  • It works out of-the-box with many control revision systems. In particular, it works well with subversion with the standard C-x v-v for check-in/check-out of the repositories.
  • It sems to work better with modes like AUCTeX, with something closer to WYSIWYG, but still faithful to the LaTeX usage cycle.
  • It seems to have better UTF-8 support, which means that I may, finally, forget about using anything else (like iso-8859-1). Now, I'm only waiting for Mutt-ng to reach testing and I will be a happier man. I may even start using the latex-ucs package to encode everything that I type in Unicode.
  • The font-locking mode works better and for more modes. Absolutely sweet.
  • The new Emacs version is also available with use of GTK 2.0, which is much more beautiful than other toolkits used in the past. Also, as the same libraries are shared among other applications, there is a slight chance of observing lower memory footprint in some areas.
  • Maybe it's just me, but using dired mode is now much easier. I always feared using emacs as a file manager, but now it seems to be a feasible alternative.

And I see that there is much more to learn. I feel that I have barely scratched the surface of Emacs 22. Stay tunned kids. It will surprise you, honest!

Oh, and using docbook-utils is indeed a possibility instead of using passivetex. But typing everything in XML is painful. Perhaps there is a mode for Emacs for working with DocBook files? I'd be pleased to know.

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