: Learning GNU Emacs, 3rd Edition

14.4.2 FAQ, News, and Antinews

14.4.2 FAQ, News, and Antinews

To display the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) file, type C-h f. This file is in Info format.

Perhaps the most important of the remaining Emacs help commands for hard-core users and customizers is C-h n (for view-emacs-news), which visits the NEWS file that comes with Emacs. This file contains a history of changes made to Emacs since the last major version; for example, all changes in Version 20.1 and following up to the latest minor version (which in our case is Version 21.3.5, though the file says 21.4). This can be a very long file if there have been several minor releases since the last major versionin our case, the file is 12,886 lines long. If you want to look through it for changes to a specific aspect of Emacs, use an appropriate search command. But if you just want to skim it, note that this file was intended for use with outline mode: topics are introduced on lines beginning with *, and subtopics are introduced on lines beginning with **. Use outline mode commands to skim the file; see Chapter 7 for information. The outline mode command hide-body displays the main topics and hides the text; show-all redisplays all the text as well.

An entertaining approach to learning about the latest release is Antinews. This file takes the viewpoint that Emacs has been downgraded, in our case from 21.4 to 21.3. It takes you through all the features that have been ripped from Emacs 21.4 to create Emacs 21.3. Antinews is a menu item on the first page of the Emacs manual you reach via C-h r.

Table 14-4 summarizes commands relating to reading documentation, getting general information about Emacs, and language encoding issues.

Table14-4.Documentation, general information, and encoding options

Keystrokes Command name Action
C-h t Help ? Emacs Tutorial help-with-tutorial Run the Emacs tutorial.
C-h i info Start the Info documentation reader. If prefaced with C-u, reads an Info file of your choice.
C-h r Help ? Read the Emacs Manual info-emacs-manual Opens the Emacs manual.
C-h F Help ? More Manuals ? Find Command in Manual Info-goto-emacs-command-node Start Info documentation reader at the node that discusses this command.
C-h K Help ? More Manuals ? Find Key in Manual Info-goto-emacs-key-command-node Start Info documentation reader at the node that discusses this key sequence.
C-h n orC-h C-n Help ? Emacs News view-emacs-news View news about recent changes in Emacs.
C-h C-f Help ? Emacs FAQ view-emacs-FAQ View a file of frequently asked questions and their answers about Emacs.
(none) Help ? Search Documentation ? Emacs Terminology search-emacs-glossary Open a glossary of Emacs terms.
(none) Help ? Search Documentation ? Look Up Subject in User Manual emacs-index-search Search the index of the Emacs user manual.
(none) Help ? Search Documentation ? Look Up Subject in ELisp Manual elisp-index-search Search the index of the Emacs Lisp manual.
C-h Enter Help ? More Manuals ? Ordering Manuals view-order-manuals Displays information about ordering print manuals.
C-h p finder-by-keyword Invoke a menu that lets you get information about Emacs Lisp packages available on your system.
C-h C-c Help ? Copying Conditions describe-copying View the General Public License (GPL).
C-h C-d Help ? Getting New Versions describe-distribution View information on ordering Emacs from FSF.
C-h C-p describe-project View information on the GNU project. (See the Preface.)
C-h C-w Help ? (Non)Warranty describe-no-warranty View the (non-)warranty for Emacs. Emacs doesn't provide a warranty, hence the name here.
C-h C-t view-todo If you're a programmer looking to contribute to the Emacs code base, use this command to view a list of what needs to be done.
C-h C-e Help ? Emacs Known Problems view-emacs-problems Displays the PROBLEMS file, which includes a list of known problems.
C-h h view-hello-file View the HELLO file, which displays the word "hello" in numerous languages.
C-h L Help ? Describe ? Describe Language Environment describe-language-environment Prompts for either default (current environment) or lists possible completions. Menu option shows these choices.
C-h I orC-h C- Help ? Describe ? Describe Input Method describe-input-method Shows current input method (the default) or, with completion, a list of possible input methods.
C-h C Help ? Describe ? Describe Coding System describe-coding-system Shows current coding system (the default) or, with completion, lists all available coding systems.

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