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Emacs development updates

John Wiegley (he/him)

Format: 24-min talk; Q&A: BigBlueButton conference room
Status: Q&A finished, IRC and pad will be archived on this page


In this talk, John Wiegley will briefly summarize important developments on the road to Emacs 30. He will not be able to answer questions right now, but you can post questions in the pad and he can follow up after the event.


Questions and answers

  • Q: Which changes in recent Emacs releases are you enjoying using?
    • A: I have really liked the visual-line-mode. I\'m not sure how recent that is. Some of these features I\'ve discovered quite late. The new display-line-number-mode, much faster. Native compilation. I do a lot of stuff in Emacs. Native compilation has brought the experience much closer to a modern app.
  • Q: What do you think the future in the area of artificial intelligence from the developer point of view?
    • A: I do use xinside Emacs quite a bit when doing development in other languages. Ex: working on ledger, haven\'t done a lot of C++ lately. Ex: comparing strings only up to the length of the shortest string. I think in terms of developer assistance, not having to keep all the libraries in memory... Like Rosetta Code ( That\'s a great database - code in different languages.
  • Q: What is the future of Emacs on macOS? I understand that there are too few developers for the platform. Is that still true?
    • A: I do not know exactly what the state of Emacs development on macOS is, but I have never suffered in any way, using Emacs on the Mac for decades.
  • Q:Why aren't you contributing to Emacs anymore? Lack of time, I guess?
    • A: Lack of free time
    • Draft? (story about describing what he wanted, and then someone ran it through ChatGPT and sent him Emacs Lisp code) \<- ChatGPT example, may increase the efficiency of my free time
    • What was the language that you code in now?
  • Q: One of the tricky things about running emacs on android is do you use anything that requires extra packages ex, pdf-tools with mupdf? - org-roam with a database - playing music or video with mpd or mpv and bonga, elfeed. Do you run emacs turmux, Emacs apk, emacs in virtaul machine??? This is also the case on Emacs for windows but to a lesser degree 
    • A: (zaeph) We'll put a pin in this for Stefan afterwards.
  • Q: Will AUCTeX some day become the default TeX mode in Emacs? And, if so, when? :)
    • A: The downside of moving to core is that your release cycle is slowed down because you have to go through emacs-devel and the devel team. So it seems to be up to AUCTeX developers. This can be troublesome if a package develops rapidly.
  • Q: Do you use other IDEs for theorem proving work, notably VS Code for LEAN? Which languages and provers can/do you use Emacs for?
    • A: I have always used Emacs. 
  • Q: Can we see that AI-generated \"Drafts\"-like code anywhere?
  • Q: Wait, just a quick search over \"Draft\". Does that mean you\'re not using Org anymore?
    • okay, I am good now :)
  • Q: Speaking of which, do you ever hit the walls in terms of multithreading issues, and if so when doing what / in what cases?
  • Q: was [perl-mode] just abandonned or did cperl bring a new design ?
    • Not the speaker: I think someone just started a separate cperl-mode (based on c-mode) and many of us found it worked better, so switched to it.


  • Emacs 29 has been quite a success so far, 29.2 to be released soon
  • Thinking about starting Emacs 30 release cycle (emacs-30 will be cut and development will be frozen with only bugfixes going in); could take some time
  • Not a huge number of changing features, but still some interesting things
  • Android support - native Emacs on a tablet, etc.
  • Much better support for touchscreen devices (laptops and tablets)  Interesting, the original design of Hyperbole anticipated iPad-like devices with each node of information represented by a rounded square and interconnected in a knowledge graph like Org-roam does, so maybe we\'ll do some work in that direction.
  • There will be some support for LL(?)
  • perl-mode -> cperl-mode
  • xx
  • byte-compiler will warn about more questionable constructs: empty macro bodies, etc.
  • Stefan Kangas is a new co-maintainer (and he\'ll be giving the next talk live)
  • Thanks John for all the news on Emacs and informative answers.

Questions or comments? Please e-mail

Back to the talks Previous by track: (Un)entangling projects and repos Next by track: Emacs core development: how it works Track: General