Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Emacs in the future: after the ice-caps melt

Emacs 24.1 is out. I haven't really tried it properly yet. All of the pre-release Emacs 24 snapshots I tried had severe memory-leak problems (at least with my set-up) and the quick try-out of 24.1 I did do revealed that it seems to be incompatible with twittering-mode. Since Emacs 23.3 is still working nicely for me, perhaps I'll wait a bit before trying 24.1 seriously.

Speaking of the future of Emacs, a great quote from sociologist Kieran Healy on The Setup ("usesthis.com") site:
Emacs ... will be there when the icecaps melt and the cities drown, when humanity destroys itself in fire and zombies, when the roaches finally achieve sentience, take over, and begin using computers themselves - at which point its various Ctrl-Meta key-chords will seem not merely satisfyingly ergonomic for the typical arthropod, but also direct evidence for the universe's Intelligent Design by some six-legged, multi-jointed God.


  1. I'm on 24.1.1 and twittering-mode seems to be working fine for me.

  2. I get: "error in process sentinel: Cannot open doc string file "/usr/share/emacs/24.1.50/etc/DOC-"

  3. I've been using twmode with Emacs 24 for many moons too. Works very well. If your Emacs 24 needs such a DOC file, then it may be in need of an upgrade. (Note the instead of Perhaps you need to upgrade to later "emacs-snapshot", if you happen to use it? Anyway, you can also try to "touch" the DOC file to create it, to byte-recompile your twmode, etc.

  4. That was a typo: should be DOC- And, yes, you're right, as soon as I create a file with that name it works.

    This seems to be the issue: http://old.nabble.com/Emacs-build-number-in-version-td33908210.html#a33912287

    Now I'll see if my memory leak problems have been fixed or not.

  5. Unfortunately, memory leak problems remain. Even if started with no .emacs (-q).

    I can drive the memory up simply by rapidly scrolling the mouse-wheel up and down. And the memory-usage slowly (but non-linearly) even if I simply leave emacs open.

    I note that I get the following message when I start emacs 24 from the command line: "sh: rsvg: not found" (repeated about 25x).

    http://porneia.free.fr/pub/articles/emacs-snapshot.html mentions this error message, and suggests: "lors de mes essais avec une version stable, Emacs se plaignait de ne pas trouver rsvg (sh: rsvg: not found). J'ai pu résoudre le problème en installant à la main le paquet librsvg2-bin." But installing librsvg2-bin did nothing for me.

  6. I've been running Emacs 24 since summer 2010, without any major problems, with only minor occasional hiccups during upgrades. There were no serious memory leaks. If you experience them with naked Emacs without any personal init or site init, then your problem may be OS specific. Do you use emacs-snapshot on Debian or Ubuntu, testing or unstable, 32-bit or 64-bit, emacs-snapshot-gtk or emacs-snapshot-lucid, up-to-date or not? There are many free parameters, but based on my experience, things should work very well. So good luck in hunting down the root cause. You can try techniques outlined in

  7. @Tibor Simko: Thanks. I'm using emacs-snapshot under Bodhi 1.4, which is Ubuntu 10.04 underneath. I had to force some packages manually (libmagicwand was one, as I recall) to get the emacs-snapshot repository to work, and I think the memory-leak is probably related to that.