Re: So DEs are catching up with Emacs, are they?
>> Emacs has had this "tiling" behaviour for well over 20 years
> Indeed it has. You didn't write this, did you?
No, I didn't. (Neither Emacs's "tiling" nor the following web page.)
That's a splendid demonstration of Emacs's versatility. I use Emacs quite differently.
> But the thing is, where it can do many wonderful things, it doesn't use the keyboard controls that have been standard for 30+ years now. It doesn't even call windows "windows".
Emacs can't afford to use these standard key bindings. They may be standard, but they're a bad standard. I've just counted up the commands in Emacs, and they number around 13,500. Each one of these potentially wants a key binding. The short key bindings are exceptionally precious, and need to be kept for frequently used commands. Wasting, for example, C-s on "save file" would be an absolute wrench in the gearbox. In Emacs, C-s is actually used to start an incremental search (as contrasted with the excremental search which is still common in other applications).
Yes, it's a shame that the original developers of GUIs failed to use the established terminology, way back then. The subject of changing the terminology of "frame" to "window", and "window" to something else (what?) comes up every now and then on the Emacs developers' mailing list. But considering the hundreds of hours of work that would take, combined with the months/years of inevitable bugs and confusion ("do you mean "old" window or "new" window?") that would occur pretty soon puts a dampner on such proposals. It's really not hard to get used to "window" meaning what Gnome plans on it meaning.
> I'm sorry but I just don't have time for that.
That's fine, Emacs isn't for everybody. It may be the most user friendly program there is, but it definitely isn't beginner friendly. You've got to put a _lot_ of effort into learning it and configuring it to become your own Emacs. Once you've learnt it to a reasonable degree (the process never stops), your productivity shows the benefits.
> In the 1980s I knew a dozen different editors, with totally different keystrokes and sets of terminology... but then standardisation happened and it all went away and it was _great_.
> The standard is called CUA, and most GUIs in the world today follow it:
It may be a standard, but it is inappropriate for programs with 13,500 commands competing for key bindings.
> There is a less than half-hearted stab at it in Emacs, called `cua-mode`, but it's not worth having.
I don't think it's widely used, no. It doesn't appear frequently in bug reports, for example.
> This is a much better effort but it needs integration and being made the default _for new users_.
That's another topic which arises every now on then on the developers' list. Yes, it would ease the learning for newcomers, but such newcomers would be deprived of the benefits of Emacs's systematic key binding schemes for a long time, possibly for ever.
That's one approach, yes, and is yet another demonstration of Emacs's versatility. :-)