“I can see clearly now…”
his experiences with Ubuntu
OS X. Among the points in OS
X's favor was the fact that OS X's Emacs uses
anti-aliased fonts which are an “optional extra” on Linux and that Tim
“wasn't willing to do the
to get the bleeding-edge allegedly-anti-aliased Emacs.”
Heh. I've never bothered to follow the instructions to get anti-aliased fonts in Emacs either. But could it really be that big a deal?
You know I had to find out, right?
Getting, building, and installing Emacs with Xft support was mostly a doddle (one line of the “further patch” that Edd points to needs to be applied by hand as the sources have drifted a bit since the patch).
The results are pretty dramatic.
There's no question that the anti-aliased version looks better, but I'm not sure I find the distinction all that significant. I'm trying it for a while and I'll let you know.
The tricky bit is going to be finding an ideal replacement for
which is what I used to use. “
Bitstream Vera Sans Mono-10”
isn't bad, but it's slightly narrower and taller which means I get fewer
lines to the screen. It's also missing some Unicode characters that I'd
prefer to have ("“", "”", and "…", at least). Anyone have a better suggestion for a
monospace font? (I'm quite willing to buy one if necessary).
Also in the “reason to be concerned” column, this anti-aliased Emacs is version 18.104.22.168 which clearly behaves in some slightly different ways from 21.x. I couldn't get Gnus to work at all because it wants a bunch of different font families and colors (ok, maybe that was to be expected), the on-screen font highlighting is a bit flakey, the Emacs XML parser seems to have a different internal data structure, and I've seen a couple of other weirdnesses.
But life on the bleeding edge is fun, right?
Off topic: Another point Tim put in OS X's favor was Flash support, which I found amusing. The first extension I install for Firefox is the one that turns off that irritating noise. In fairness though, it is necessary for some sites (which I think is a pity, but that's neither here nor there).