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Monthly Archives: March 2012

Emacs is at its core a Lisp interpreter. It is often called an “editor” for
convenience, but you should think of it as more of an extensible computing environment, based primarily on text buffers. It was designed from the beginning to have a much broader scope than simply editing text files. Emacs wants to be a unified environment for all things text: mail, IRC, shells, documentation, etc. This functionality is added through writing specialized Emacs Lisp programs, loaded on demand. Elisp programs you don’t want to use will thus never bother you, since they will never be loaded. Emacs can be thought of as more of a framework than an “application”.

uTorrent, on the other hand, was designed as a lightweight BitTorrent client. For years, that was all it was. It was only recently (around 2011) that it was “extended” with all kinds of features like video playback, of no relevance to the original design. Because these features are built into the binary rather than implemented as stand-alone modules/programs, users pay the price for the resulting code bloat all the time, even if they don’t use the new features.

Let’s take a look at the new features:

Video playback

This can already be done by double clicking the files in the video tab to open them in your video player.

Web content search

This can be done by switching to your web browser, finding a torrent, and clicking a link to open it in uTorrent.

“Apps” like games

Windows and web browsers already have that. In Emacs, games are meant as a creative display of Elisp hacking; in uTorrent they are a poor man’s substitute for web apps or native programs.

Ratings and comments on torrents

Torrent sites already have that.