Monday, January 9, 2012

Emacs 23: But Text is Text, Right?

I've lately been annoyed that emacs no longer seems to understand the structure of a text file. When editing a long line that wraps, the down arrow and ^n will often take one to a later portion on the same line rather than the current column in the next line. The idea is to consider lines as seen on the screen as more fundamental than lines in the file, even though in almost every application it's the file contents that matter.

It didn't take long to find the workaround--thanks to Nilesh Kapadia who commented at

Insert the following into the .emacs startup file:

(setq line-move-visual nil)

This seems to be yet another case of someone wanting emacs to act less like a text editor and more like a word processor. People that want emacs to act like a word processor should use a word processor, and not lobby to cripple emacs' ability to treat text like text.

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