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DMACS is an adaptation of EMACS. Its purpose is to make EMACS more
accessible to the SRI user. It does this in three ways:
1. The command set has been rearranged and regularized,
making it easier to learn and easier to remember.
2. The command set is optimized for the Datamedia keyboard.
Maximal use is made of the keypad at the right side. Almost all
editing commands use the edit-key, some use the control-key as well;
there are very few commands that use the control-key alone.
3. Some new functions have been added, and others have been
modified, to provide additional capability.
DMACS is still undergoing a certain amount of development. If you
plan to make regular use of DMACS, send a message to AGIN@SRI-KL so
you can be kept up to date on changes.
* Documentation: Doc Getting started. Pointers to documentation files
* Differences: Diffs Differences between DMACS and "Vanilla" EMACS.
Node: Doc Previous: Top Up: Top Next: Diffs
The best introduction to DMACS is to run the system program
TEACH-DMACS. Just give the command @TEACH-DMACS to the TOPS-20 exec
and follow instructions. You will actually use the DMACS editor to
move around the file containing an introduction to the editor.
Later on you'll want to list yourself a copy of <EMACS>DMACS.CHART.
(It's formatted for wide paper, so use LLIST instead of LIST.) This
file lists the names of all the commands and the keys they are
EMACS has an excellent system for self-documentation. It's very
helpful in learning about new features in the system. And whenever
anything changes, the self-documentation is automatically up to date.
The most efficient way to invoke it is via the help character: ^_,
control-backarrow, or the "hold" key on Datamedia keyboards.
TEACH-DMACS tells about help subcommands that are useful for
exploring the system.
The file <INFO>EMACS.. is a good source of information about EMACS in
general. The file is intended to be accessed through the INFO
subsystem of EMACS or DMACS (type help-I to invoke INFO). The same
information is contained in the file <DOCUMENTATION>EMACS.GUIDE, but
formatted for line printer output. Be aware that the character
assignments discussed there are mainly different from the assignments
in the DMACS command set.
Node: Diffs Previous: Doc Up: Top
DMACS is more than just a re-wiring of existing commands. There are
a number of omissions and awkwardnesses in vanilla EMACS that have
been corrected either by modifying existing functions, or by adding
The commands that move forward and back by words or delete words
always move to the beginnings of words. The same commands with a ^X
prefix move to the ends of words. In vanilla EMACS it depends on
which direction you approach from.
There are three options in the typing of control and meta bits:
1. Use the Ctrl and Edit keys on the Datamedia Keyboard.
2. Use Escape for Meta and either Edit-Escape or
Escape-Escape for Control-Meta.
3. Use the three unlabeled keys on the left of the keyboard
(between ^L and ^A). The bottom key, ^^, is Prefix Control. The
middle key, ^], is Prefix Meta. The top key, ^\, is Prefix
Tab and Carriage Return are self-inserting characters. The business
of Carriage Return eating up blank lines has been discarded. In most
major modes Edit-tab is Indent Nested. A negative argument -n to
Edit-tab will indent n spaces to the right of the previous line (or n
times the value of the variable Q$Indentation Increment$).
M-_ deletes characters backwards, like rubout, but when it encounters
a tab it turns it into spaces so it can delete the spaces one at a
Ten "fixed marks" have been provided in addition to THE mark. "The
region" is still defined by the pointer and THE mark; the additional
fixed marks provide the capability of designating some particular
spot in your file that stays put while you copy text elsewhere. With
no arguments, the command M-M sets THE mark and the command M-G goes
to THE mark (Exchange Point and Mark). With a numeric argument
(0-9) they set or go to the corresponding fixed mark.
Edit-A, Append Next Kill, has been fixed to work sensibly. The
problem was that sometimes the text being killed would append to the
end of the previously-killed text, and sometimes prepend to the
beginning. The version in DMACS always appends to the end, unless
you give it a negative argument, in which case it prepends to the
C-X and M-X provide the identical function in the DMACS command set.
They are redundant for convenience in typing commands like C-X C-D
(Directory Display) or M-X M-D (Kill Word) without shifting bits in
It should be unnecessary for a user to know anything about TECO to
make full use of DMACS. The minibuffer still exists, but most users
need not be aware of it. Commands that use the minibuffer in vanilla
EMACS (such as ^R Query Replace) have been redefined to request their
type-in in the echo area. There are commands [not implemented yet]
to set and type the contents of arbitrary variables.
^Z is the universal exit character. When you type ^Z at the top
level, DMACS will clear the screen, save whatever file you are
editing, and escape to the EXEC. (You may type CONTINUE to resume
your edit.) ^Z is the character to type to end the edit when DMACS
was invoked from SNDMSG, LISP, or some other higher-level program.
Use ^Z to exit from submodes such as Alter Options and Edit Tabular
Text, and to exit from recursive ^R invoked from Query Replace or
from the INFO package.
SOS line numbers and the multiple nulls left in files by TVEDIT are
automatically removed when you read a file. (Exception: nulls are
not removed in TECO Mode.)
DMACS has a capability of dealing with page numbers. <n>Meta-P will
go to the top of page <n> of the buffer. Meta-P by itself will go to
the top of the next page. Minus Meta-P will go backward a page. The
Where Am I function (^X =) prints the current page and line.
As in vanilla EMACS, search commands keep a record of the "last thing
searched for" so that you can repeat the previous search. But now
the record for Character Search is kept separate from that for longer
searches (String Search and Incremental Search). Within Incremental
Search, Control-S and Meta-S are equivalent, as are Control-R and
The way exchanging works (for characters, words, sexps, and lines)
has been slightly modified. A positive numeric argument means to
exchange the chunk before the cursor with <n> chunks following the
cursor. A negative arg means to the exchange <n> chunks before the
cursor with the one after. A zero argument is a special case, and
means to exchange the two chunks at the point and the mark. The
cursor always ends up between the chunks interchanged, with the
following exceptions: At the end of a line (Exchange Characters), and
at the end of the buffer (Exchange Lines).
Two new major modes have been implemented. Indented Text Mode is
like Text Mode, but AutoFill makes new lines be indented, and
paragraphs are defined to start only with blank lines. Tabular Text
Mode is similar to Text Mode, but it redefines edit-Tab to be Tab to
Tab Stop, and makes AutoFill indent. (Also, these modes continue to
be available as "temporary" submodes--see MM Edit Indented Text and
MM Edit Tabular Text.)
A new SAIL Mode provides commands for moving forward and back by
stataments and by blocks. A BLISS Mode is planned. MACRO Mode is
provided instead of what was called MIDAS mode in vanilla EMACS.
The various "F" and "B" commands depend on what major mode you're
editing in. For example M-F is Forward Sentence if you're in Text
Mode, Forward List if you're in LISP Mode, Forward Statement if
you're in SAIL Mode, etc. Some modes also make use of "@", "T", or
"V" commands too. See the second page of <EMACS>DMACS.CHART for
all the commands thus defined.
There are ties to the Interlisp/EMACS interface, which allows you to
call DMACS directly from Interlisp to edit LISP functions and
S-expressions. The interface is documented in the file
When a new buffer is created, the major mode that was in effect
previously becomes the mode in the new buffer. Auto-filling is now
local to buffers, and in new buffers gets turned on or off according
to what was in force previously.
Autosave Filename is now defaulted to AUTOSAVE..1000nn, where nn is
your job number, on your login directory. In this way, auto saving
needn't fill up your directory with multiple deleted files. ^X ^S
will write to the "permanent" file name rather than the Auto Save
File, unless you give it an arg of 0. ^Z saves your file and cleans
up (deletes) auto save files.
The library for defining keyboard macros (KBDMAC) is automatically
loaded when required. Type M-/ to start or end macro definition.
While a keyboard macro is being defined, the word "Defining" appears
in the mode line. If you give a numeric argument n to the closing
M-/, the macro will be repeated n-1 additional times. If you do not
specify a numeric argument, you will be prompted for a character to
assign the macro to.
We now have a multi-forking capability. MM Push will get a lower fork
for you, running the subsystem of your choice. First it will prompt
for a handle (name) by which it can access the fork, then the name of
a subsystem to run in the fork. "EXEC" is a reasonable answer for
both of these. When you pop back from your lower exec, you edit will
be in the same state you left it. You can re-enter the same fork
again later by re-specifying the same handle. MM Push is based on
the EFORK package written by Chuck Weinstock.
Other functions have been added. Generally, their names tell what
they do. See their self-documentation for fuller explanations.
^R Center Region
^R Exchange Lines
^R Kill into Q-reg
^R Copy Lines
^R Zap to Character
^R Zap thru Character
^R Move to Hpos
^R Set Hpos Target Column