From: Berndl, Klaus <klaus.berndl@sd...> - 2004-02-22 18:44:53
In gnu.emacs.sources one has asked for a better description what is ECB,
especially compared to Emacs and its standard-tools like etags or imenu...
Here is the thread and the questions of him:
a criticism of the following:
> General description of ECB:
> ECB stands for "Emacs Code Browser" and is a source-code-browser for
> (X)Emacs. It is a global minor-mode which offers a
> language-independent and complete IDE (Integrated Development
> Environment) within one Emacs-frame.
Isn't this basically what Emacs is? (Apart from the minor-mode and
single frame bits.)
> It displays a couple of windows ....
At this point in learning about ECB, I'd rather hear about its
capabilities; the window configuration is more of a distraction.
> .... that can be used to browse directories, files and file-contents
> like methods and variables.
I'm still wondering what "browse" means here: After all, Emacs, with
dired, CC Mode, Etags, Ediff, grep, and so on is pretty good at browsing
anyway. What does ECB offer that standard Emacs doesn't have?
> It supports source-code parsing for semantic-supported languages .....
"languages supported by the `semantic' package" might be clearer here,
making it explicit that `semantic' is a name, not an adverb.
> .... like Java, C, C++, Elisp and Scheme as well as for source-types
> supported "only" by imenu or etags (e.g. perl, TeX, LaTeX etc.). In
> addition it offers (optional) a durable "compile-window" at the bottom
> of the frame which is used to display all help-, grep-, compile- and
> etc.-output. The rest of the frame is called the "edit-area" which can
> be divided in several (no limit) edit-windows which are used for
> editing of sources. Deleting some of the edit-windows does neither
> destroy the compile-window nor the browsing-windows.
After reading this, I'm still puzzling over what ECB is. What will it do
for me? ECB is surely more than a way of arranging windows within a
frame. What is its essence?
Here it is what Kai Grossjohann has answered:
> ECB also provides special windows.
> ECB shows the directory tree in one window, the list of source files
> in the current directory in another window, the list of functions (or
> classes, or methods, ...) in another window, a list of recently
> visited files in yet another window, and so on.
> The idea is that Emacs is good at editing text, and you can do M-x
> imenu RET to move around in the current buffer. But what Emacs by
> default does not do is a side-by-side display of various bits and
> pieces of information that you might need.
Thanks Kai, for this pretty good explanation. Maybe the underlying reason why
the announcement-description about ECB doesn't point out the essence of ECB in
a well understandable form is my own poor English - but until today i thought
in conjunction with the attached "ascii-screenshot" the announcement-text
describes the essence of ECB - obviously a miscalculation ;-)
Ok, maybe one of the users of ECB can provide a short description what is ECB
compared to Emacs and its standard-tool like egrep, imenu etc... Though IMHO
Kais description is already pretty good - but some other opinions would not be
Thanks to all in advance,
Klaus Berndl mailto: klaus.berndl@...
sd&m AG http://www.sdm.de
software design & management
Carl-Wery-Str. 42, 81739 Muenchen, Germany
Tel +49 89 63812-392, Fax -220