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Re: Emacs's popularity (was: Distributed Maintenance for Emacs)

From: David L
Subject: Re: Emacs's popularity (was: Distributed Maintenance for Emacs)
Date: Thu, 18 Dec 2008 08:30:25 -0800

On Mon, Dec 15, 2008 at 2:03 PM, Drew Adams <address@hidden> wrote:
>> Sadly, vim outvotes all flavours of GNU emacs on the above graph when
>> added to it (although to be fair, on Debian emacs is not installed by
>> default but some flavour of vi is).
> Hm. Dunno why that should make one sad. I would never use vi or vim (unless I
> had to), but I don't see why I should be sad or bothered if other people find 
> it
> useful. One person likes to live in the forest; another prefers the city; a
> third the shore.
> Why the need to make Emacs the most popular? It's good to make Emacs better, 
> but
> what's the popularity contest about? Perhaps Americans on average listen to
> Britney Spears more than Mozart or Muddy Waters. So what?

A tool with a shrinking user base also has a shrinking pool of potential
developers that will continue to make it better.  Fewer developers to
make it better will make it less competitive with other tools causing it to
lose more users.  And so on.  There are also fewer people to file
bug reports and help other users with problems.

Another reason that is would be nice if it was growing in popularity
is to give people like me some ammunition when many people
in my company are saying emacs is obsolete and I should start using eclipse.
There is something to be said for standardizing tools within a company...
I always get frustrated when I sit down with somebody to help them debug
something and don't know my way around eclipse and I know they feel
the same with emacs.  If a company forces developers to use a certain
tool or a few more popular tools (which many companies do), it's
like people are forced to listen to Britney Spears (to use your

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