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6. Other Resources

This section covers books, web sites, newsgroups, mailing lists, and other places you can find more information about Emacs.

6.1 Books

There are a a few really good books available for learning Emacs. In addition to these, you'll find that many Linux and Unix books also contain a chapter or two about Emacs (and vi).

Learning GNU Emacs

Authors: Debra Cameron, Bill Rosenblatt, Eric S. Raymond

Publisher: O'Reilly & Associates -

Commentary: This is probably the best book to start with. After you've read the HOWTO and looked through the FAQ this book serves as a comprehensive and very approachable tutorial.

Writing GNU Emacs Extensions

Author: Bob Glickstein

Publisher: O'Reilly & Associates -

Commentary: After you've used Emacs for a while and have decided that you'd like to try writing your own mode or maybe try out some advanced customization, this is the book for you. While it doesn't attempt to teach Lisp, it does contain a brief introduction to the language.

Programming in Emacs Lisp: An Introduction

Author: Robert J. Chassell

From the README file:

This is an elementary introduction to programming in Emacs Lisp for people who are not programmers, and who are not necessarily interested in programming, but who do want to customize or extend their computing environment.

You can retrieve the manual in its entirety via anonymous FTP from the GNU FTP server:

Commentary: This a good introductory manual for Emacs Lisp--even if you're not a heavy-duty programmer.

The GNU Emacs Lisp Reference Manual

Author: Richard Stallman

Publisher: The Free Software Foundation -

You can retrieve the manual in its entirety via anonymous FTP from the GNU FTP server:

Commentary: This is the definitive guide to the Emacs Lisp programming language.

6.2 Web Sites


EMACSulation is a column written by Eric Marsden that appears in the on-line magazine Linux Gazette located at The most recent column as of this writing is located at Scan to the bottom of the article for links to previous ones.

6.3 Newsgroups

Search you local news feed for newsgroups which contain the string ``emacs'' and you'll probably find many. Those which my server carries are:

6.4 Mailing Lists

There is a mailing list for GNU Emacs which is hosted by the Free Software Foundation. See the web site for more information.

The only mailing list devoted to Emacs that I know of right now is the NT-Emacs list. It is a list for folks who are using the Micro$oft Windows version of Emacs. See the NT-Emacs FAQ for more information.

6.5 The Emacs Lisp Archive

From the Emacs Lisp Archive README:

The Emacs Lisp archives on contain various pieces and packages of Emacs Lisp code. Emacs Lisp is the language used to extend the GNU Emacs editor published by the Free Software Foundation. Although much Emacs Lisp code is included in the GNU Emacs distribution, many people have written packages to interface with other systems, to better support editing the programming language they use, to add new features, or to change Emacs' default behavior. Most of the contents of this archive have been written by individuals and distributed publicly over the Internet through the info-emacs or info-gnu-emacs mailing lists or the comp.emacs, gnu.emacs, or gnu.emacs.sources newsgroups.

The archives are available via anonymous FTP from

NOTE: As far as I can tell, the Emacs Lisp Archive is slowly becoming out of date. I see very few new (or updated) packages appearing there, though I know they exist. They do get posted to the comp.emacs.sources newsgroup. (Feel free to correct me if this is wrong.)

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