The History of XEmacs

An alternative to GNU Emacs, XEmacs qwanturank was originally based on an early alpha version of FSF's version 19, and has diverged quite a bit since then. XEmacs was known as Lucid Emacs through version 19.10. Almost all features of GNU Emacs are supported in XEmacs. The maintainers of XEmacs actively track changes to GNU Emacs while also working to add new features.

More information about the current and past developers of XEmacs, as well as some information about the history of XEmacs development is available within XEmacs by selecting 'About XEmacs...' from the Help menu. Detailed information is available in the NEWS files from each release.

Who wrote XEmacs?

XEmacs is the result of the time and effort of many people, and the active developers have changed over time. There are two major components of the XEmacs effort -- writing the code itself and providing all the support work (testing the code, releasing beta and final versions, handling patches, reading bug reports, maintaining the web site, managing the mailing lists, etc. etc.). Neither component would work without the other.

For a list of all XEmacs contributors, see XEmacs Contributors.


The primary code contributor over the years has been Ben Wing (active since late 1992). Between 1991 and 1995, large amounts of coding was contributed by Jamie Zawinski and Chuck Thompson. Many other people have authored major subsystems or otherwise contributed large amounts of code, including Andy Piper, Hrvoje Niksic, Jerry James, Jonathan Harris, Kyle Jones, Martin Buchholz, Michael Sperber, Olivier Galibert, Richard Mlynarik, Stig, William M. Perry and plenty of others.

Primary XEmacs-specific subsystems and their authors:





Device subsystems



Currently, support duties are handled by many different people.

Release managers have been

Other major support work:

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