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Is there a way to create a stripped-down version of Windows GNU Emacs?

From: David Spector
Subject: Is there a way to create a stripped-down version of Windows GNU Emacs?
Date: Tue, 24 Mar 2020 12:54:25 -0400
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 10.0; WOW64; rv:68.0) Gecko/20100101 Thunderbird/68.6.0

To: help-emacs-windows mailing list

Hi, everyone.

I used to use Emacs years ago, but more recently have been using the NoteTab Pro editor. Unfortunately, NoteTab is no longer maintained, and it has problems such as an inability to handle UTF-8 text, as well as bugs. I have to move on.

I downloaded and evaluated 14 current programming editors for Windows, and had to reject each one due to one limitation or bug after another. I was very surprised to find that every editor has dark corners in places where I need them to function well. For the first few evaluations I reported bugs I found to the developers, but now, months later, not one of those bugs has been fixed, even for editors that are sold for money.

If I must consider creating my own editor, I think my ideal Windows programming editor might be based on EmacsLisp, so I thought I would send out the following question:

Is there any way to obtain or create a stripped-down version of Windows GNU Emacs?

What I'm looking for:

* Full support for basic EmacsLisp programming
* All the basic editor commands and defuns (moving, selecting, etc.)
* Support for windows, buffers, and files
* A minimal keyboard map
* No or few extension packages
* No or few buffer modes or submodes
* No syntax coloring or features like "goto a function definition"
* Optional: no requirement to build Emacs on my own computer in whatever compiled language its kernel is written in.

Why am I looking for this? Because I want certain features that no editors have, such as saved text files containing groups of buffers associated with tasks which are in turn associated with projects, the ability to work with indexed outline files (like NoteTab has), and lots more.

Why am I not looking for microEmacs? Because I want to do heavy extension work, not deal with yet another limited editor. I think I need the generality and flexibility of EmacsLisp with basic editing commands.

I welcome all suggestions, particularly those that explain how to start with the enormous Windows Emacs and strip away to end up with a basic, small Windows Emacs.

Feel free to ask questions or give advice. I'm a retired software engineer with 40 years of experience.

Hope everyone is coping well with our post-COVID-19 world.

David Spector
Springtime Software

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