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Re: "like other editors" [

From: Rasmus
Subject: Re: "like other editors" [
Date: Mon, 03 Oct 2011 20:27:44 +0100
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/24.0.90 (gnu/linux)

Ian Zimmerman <address@hidden> writes:

> With Emacs, this may be true (I sure hope it is, because I sense the
> proposal with go through).  But in general, when a package or program
> decides to "embrace" we hard core users face a sad choice: retrain our
> fingers to the Windows way (and yes, that _is_ what it is, if you trace
> it to the source), or "customise back" and give up any new features,
> because they are usually not compatible with the old interface.  It
> happens again and again, and I'm sick of it. 

But in general Emacs exhibit a degree of conservatism.  The hard part is
choosing the optimal degree of conservatism.  With Emacs I don't see
development in branches; but the general concern is valid.

> Emacs has been sort of like last bastion, and if it falls I give up
> computing as a passion and approach it strictly for the money.
> Seriously.

There are also imitators of Emacs.  For example I belive one can choose
Emacs bindings in GTK applications.  Abiword supports Emacs bindings for
sure.  For Firefox the keysnail extension is absolutely wonderful.
Emacs works.

> Richard> Always try to remember the hassles you had when embracing
> Richard> emacs. Only then can you judge more dispassionately.
> I do remember that time (around 1995).  I came from Windows too, and the
> initial difficulties were totally worth it.

I am sure everyone on this list agrees.  Complex software such as Emacs
is hard.  Should we `dumb it down' to make it more accessible?  I do not
think so, but choosing sane defaults is surely important.  (I think
deleting a highlighted region by default is sane).

> Emacs is different because it is first and foremost a programmer's
> editor. 
> [...]
> People who normally edit general text and only occassionally drop into
> highly structured text or code are better served by a simpler editor,
> IMO.

I disagree.  Generally Emacs is a lisp machine.  This enables it to be
used for all kinds of general solutions.  For you programming is the
specific solution that you value the most.  For me, I value being able
to edit plain text in a coherent environment, whether this plain text is
to be understood as `email', `org', `tex' or whatever.  Second, I value
the possibility of integrating other process into my lisp machine,
specifically software such as R and Python.  In this sense it also
becomes a programer's tool for me, but the objective is not
programming.  Emacs is a specific solution to programming for some
people, but programming is not Emacs.


Sent from my Emacs

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