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New HOWTO: Emacs Beginner's HOWTO - page 5

Table of Contents, Section 1

  • March 26, 2001
  5.  Popular Packages

  In addition to the many different modes available for Emacs, there are
  also many add-on packages. I call them packages because they're more
  than just new modes. They often include extra utilities or are so
  large that calling them modes just doesn't seem to do them justice. In
  still other cases, they are software which extends or integrates other
  Emacs modes and packages. The distinction isn't entirely clear, but
  that's okay.

  5.1.  VM (Mail)

  To quote the VM FAQ:

       VM (View Mail) is an Emacs subsystem that allows mail to be
       read and disposed of within Emacs. Commands exist to do the
       normal things expected of a mail user agent, such as gener�
       ating replies, saving messages to folders, deleting messages
       and so on. There are other more advanced commands that do
       tasks like bursting and creating digests, message forward�
       ing, and organizing message presentation according to vari�
       ous criteria.

  When I first began using Emacs, I tried VM out for a while. I found it
  to be a great replacement for Pine, Elm, or most any other mail
  program. But I didn't want to use separate programs to read mail and
  news. VM is actively developed and well supported today.

  It is available here: http://www.wonderworks.com/vm/.

  5.2.  Gnus (Mail and News)

  To quote the GNUS Manual:

       Gnus is a message-reading laboratory. It will let you look
       at just about anything as if it were a newsgroup. You can
       read mail with it, you can browse directories with it, you
       can ftp with it---you can even read news with it!

       Gnus tries to empower people who read news the same way
       Emacs empowers people who edit text. Gnus sets no limits to
       what the user should be allowed to do. Users are encouraged
       to extend Gnus to make it behave like they want it to
       behave. A program should not control people; people should
       be empowered to do what they want by using (or abusing) the
       program.

  GNUS is what I currently use for mail and news (as hinted above). GNUS
  is also actively developed and well supported today.

  It is available here: http://www.gnus.org/.

  5.3.  BBDB (A rolodex)

  BBDB is an Insidious Big Brother Database, a rolodex-like program for
  Emacs that works with most of the popular Emacs Mail packages (VM and
  GNUS included).

  It is available here:
  http://pweb.netcom.com/~simmonmt/bbdb/index.html.

  5.4.  AucTeX (another TeX mode)

  AucTeX is another mode for editing TeX files.

  To quote the AucTeX web site:

       AUC TeX is an extensible package that supports writing and
       formatting TeX files for most variants of GNU Emacs. Many
       different macro packages are supported, including AMS TeX,
       LaTeX, and TeXinfo.

  It is available here: http://sunsite.auc.dk/auctex/.
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