GNU Emacs 23.1 Provides Anti-Aliasing

Jul 30, 2009

Emacs, the extensible editor of the GNU project, is available in version 23.1. The release adds countless modernizations to the traditional program, such as font anti-alising and support for D-Bus and zeroconf.

Up to now the programmable editor, which could read mail and news and provide a development environment for many computer languages, didn't recognize smoothed fonts. Many users integrated snapshots of the newly released version alone for that reason. The newest release provides new ways to adopt anti-aliasing font rasterization.

A further Emacs modernization is that it works with D-Bus, a communication system for desktop applications. In Emacs 23.1, this allows sending selected regions of text to other apps. Thanks to the zero configuration network (zeroconf) Emacs can find other devices on the network, such as zeroconf-capable printers.

New to Emacs is also a background daemon, emacs --daemon, which starts the editor in background mode without a window. The emacsclient command allows quick opening of windows to process data, which is especially interesting for Emacs installations with many extensions and adjustments that normally would require longer startup times.

Xembed is an added feature that allows embedding Emacs as an editor component in other apps and that can deal with widgets (more details on the Emacswiki page). Developers also widened the character set by making Emacs a superset of Unicode, with quadruple its code space. Emacs now also includes language environments for Chinese-GBK, Chinese-GB18030, Khmer, Bengali, Punjabi, Gujarati, Oriya, Telugu, Sinhala and TaiViet. New modes for Ruby, XML and displaying PDF and PostScript files are available.

Other enhancements that occurred over the two-year development phase are listed on the GNU Emacs homepage, the NEWS file and in Emacs with the Ctrl/h + n key combination. Emacs 23.1 is under GPLv3 license and has source code ready for download at various mirrors.

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