Emacs finally gets Unicode-11.0-ready


Unicode 11.0 has come to Emacs 26.2, which – although not the most recent edition lets devs using GNU’s text editor – at least lets devs get more creative with scripts and emojis.

To reduce crashes, the new version includes a xft-ignore-color-fonts variable that in its standard setting will stop the editor loading colour fonts when using the X FreeType interface library. Setting it to nil will, however, let users access those fonts if needed.

The movemail program from the GNU Mailutils is now set to be the default of mail-source-movemail-program, meaning it will be used even if it couldn’t be found when the editor was built. Adding the absolute file name of another executable will let users work with this instead.

Programmers working with Emacs and Lisp for customisation will have to remove ~/.emacs.d/shadows and ~/.emacs.d/shadow_todo files, since the syntax of shadowfile config files has changed. Getting rid of the old files allows using the new shadow-* commands. Lisp enthusiasts also have to be aware of the renaming of thread-alive-p to thread-live-p and the ignoring of certain buffer-switch events by while-no-input to stop the function from returning prematurely.

Other than that, you now can enjoy the benefits of the new read-answer function, which accepts answers in accordance to the new customisable variable read-answer-short. In Emacs 26.2, list-at-point can be given instructions to ignore comments and strings when looking for a list.

Fresh Emacs installations will place the emacs-module.h file in the system-wide include directory, which allows the building of modules outside the Emacs source tree.

A complete list of changes, including a few that have been available before, but didn’t make their way into the last release’s news file, can be found on the project website.