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Re: Casting as wide a net as possible

From: Adrian . B . Robert
Subject: Re: Casting as wide a net as possible
Date: Mon, 14 Dec 2015 15:05:19 +0200
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/24.5 (windows-nt)

John Wiegley <address@hidden> writes:

>>>>>> Drew Adams <address@hidden> writes:
>> My only point is that Lisp features really do make Emacs what it is. To
>> point out what Emacs is necessarily means pointing out some of those
>> features (IMO).
> I agree. The things that make Emacs great:
>   1. Highly consistent syntax.
>   2. Self-documenting.
>   3. Integrated debugger.
>   4. Ability to re-evaluate functions in a running environment.
>      (i.e., everything that made Lisp Machines great)
>   5. Natural syntax for scoping resources (`with-temp-buffer ...')
>   6. Large and well documented API
>   7. Stable and mature concepts evolved over decades
>   8. Huge, HUGE community of cargo-cultable examples, for those just learning

These are all good, but, aside from #2 and #3, relatively deep and
sophisticated.  The simpler aspects that keep driving me back to use Emacs
even as good IDEs and other tools proliferate, and the reasons I encourage
others to try it:

    1. Do things that often *can't be done* in other editors:
       - *everything* from the keyboard
       - fast, low-overhead keyboard navigation (faster than any IDE)
       - split windows for multiple spots in file or multiple files
       - clean, complete l10n handling
       - regex search/replace
       - keyboard macros

    2. Do things *more easily* than other editors
       - discovery: M-x command completion and shortcut hinting (part
           of self-documenting, means can learn to use keyboard easily)
       - swiss-army knife: learn once, edit many types of content
           (rather than dealing with a new tool for every job)
       - works same on any desktop box
       - works same on remote *nix machines as in a local desktop
           (rather than suffering with vi etc.)
       - emacsclient (big when working with command-line shells in a
           desktop environment)

    3. Better *customization* than other editors
       - menu options plus straightforward simple customization
       - full programmability for complex cases
       - *easily* migrate customization from environment to environment

Overall, due to excellent design philosophy and a highly extensible
foundation, Emacs delivers an unparalleled environment for focusing on what
you want to do, rather than spending time fiddling and fighting with your

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