November 05, 2002

Emacs addiction

Kevin Burton writes: The last few days I have realized that I am addicted to Emacs. It is just way to easy to start hacking on lisp in the middle of the day. Thirty minutes here, an hour there, another 15 minutes at the end of the day, it all adds up to become a significant problem.

I'm addicted as well. I tried many times switching the editor, but none of the tools I've used we powerful enough to justify such a move. The primary reason why I like Emacs is because it's so easy to extend, once you learn how. None of the "extensible" editors I tried are as powerful as Emacs. In Emacs Lisp you can control everything, in fact most of what you see in Emacs is written in Lisp. The rest of the extensible editors ask you to write a plugin or code in some interpreted language, but they don't expose enough of the underpinnings for you to be able to control everything.

A truly powerful environment, no matter is an editor or a Web application, should expose its most intimate internals to a scripting language. In practice this is hard to achieve, very few environments have achieved this. Emacs is one example, Smalltalk the environment, is another one. No code compilation, no code generation crap, just write scripts.

You won't believe how powerful and still modern Emacs is. PSGML for editing of XML documents according to a DTD, including complex ones like DocBook, XSLT debugging (written by me) and editing and many others.

Posted by ovidiu at November 05, 2002 11:01 AM |
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