What's the best book on emacs? I'm looking for a book with a good tutorial for beginners coming to emacs from the Windows world, but which is sufficiently complete to include information on customising emacs and using ELisp. Thanks in advance.
read the tutorial...
I liked the OReilley book. The online (old sense of online) tutorial I did not enjoy.
Printed manual is sold on Amazon. For a beginner's intro, check out this one:
I have tried the tutorial -- and tried to learn emacs -- several times in the past. The problem with the tutorial, for someone like myself who has been using non-UNIX computers for well over a decade, is that I am used to things being a certain way. Although I see the logic in using alpha keys to navigate the text, I think it's silly when there is a pad of arrow keys on the keyboard. In addition, the tutorial is quite patronising, and seems to have been written sometime in the '70s, when nobody had seen computers.
"... debugging at a time when I was doing a lot of paid development via a dialup terminal connection at 2400 baud."
C, arrow keys are bound to cursor movement commands in any modern Emacs by default. Also bear in mind that Emacs key binding are designed for the fluent typist. They often seem ridiculous until you realize that you need to move your hands a lot less than you would with, say, CUA key bindings.
The best Emacs-lisp tutorial I've found is in Peter Salus's handbooks.
Tayssir John Gabbour
Thanks to everyone for your suggestions.
If I wanted to be pedantic, I could mention that the CUA was actually designed by IBM.
I bought the O'Reilly book and I don't really like it. But let give an example which just might show I did not understand the book (most of which you can get from the manual). I want to override a mode. When I open a file that is recognized as a type with a mode then emacs will load the mode for that ... but I don't like some aspects of the mode and I want to change just some aspects. It seems like I could do this with "hooks" but I tried and it did not work. Most of what I found I discovered searching the net. The book was little to no help about this. I'd like to know exactly what emacs did when I start it up ... reads my .emacs first or loads the system resource file first and then my .emacs overrides and how then to modify the impact of the modes. I did not get any of this from the book. Actually, there is a lot of things I don't like about the book but I can't pinpoint anything. I find most of my stuff from just searching the web. There are vast resources online.
Emacs is the OS
Fog Creek Home