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The Art of Unix Programming
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Unix Programming - Combining Tools with Emacs - Like an IDE, Only Better

Like an IDE, Only Better

Earlier in this chapter we asserted that Emacs can give you capabilities resembling those of a conventional integrated development environment, only better. By now you should have enough facts in hand to see how that can be true. You can run entire development projects from inside Emacs, driving the low-level mechanics with a few keystrokes and saving yourself the mental effort and disruption of constantly switching contexts.

The Emacs-enabled development style trades away some capabilities of advanced IDEs, like graphical views of program structure. But those are frills. What Emacs gives you in return is flexibility and control. You're not limited by the imagination of the IDE designer: you can tweak, customize, and add task-related intelligence using Emacs Lisp. Also, Emacs is better at supporting mixed-language development than conventional IDEs.

Finally, you're not limited to accepting what one small group of IDE developers sees fit to support. By keeping an eye on the open-source community, you can benefit from the work of thousands of your peers, Emacs-using developers facing challenges much like yours. This is much more effective — and much more fun.

[138] Look at p+processes->compile under the Emacs help menu for more information on these and related compilation-control commands.

[139] See the subsection of the Emacs on-line documentation titled Version Control for more details on these and related commands.

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The Art of Unix Programming
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