Today I did a presentation in the November suders meetup explaining why I switched to Emacs earlier this year. I used an orgfile as a base and walked through it, doing demonstrations of different Emacs functionalities as org-mode, tramp, shells, magit, projectile and use-package. In that orgfile there’s this excerpt:
Intermission: motivation to check emacs for the nth time
One of the reasons I grew curious about Emacs again in the last years was due to Brad Fitzpatrick’s mention on Coders at Work.
Meanwhile I liked the notion of the integrating editor propounded by Acme. In late 2014 I tried Acme for the nth time both in Plan9 through drawterm, in Plan 9 from User Space and in the Inferno based Acme: Stand Alone Complex. Yes, I’m also a Plan9 fan.
Another reason was by osmosis in one of my last gigs where the CTO was an avid Emacs user. Also, the classical joke saying that Emacs would be a nice OS if it had a half-decent text editor is now applicable to Eclipse. Emacs is lightweight by today’s standards.
There are other reasons like wanting my base tools to be Open Source and that learning Lisp is more compelling than learning the vim macro language.
I forgot to mention some functionalities I continually use: org-mode as a daily planner, helm-dash to consult context API documentation from Dash and wordnut to consult the wordnet lexical database for English or flycheck to do syntax checking of different languages.
Also, a great way to do a fast start in Emacs is to use Prelude, an already configured and somewhat opinionated Emacs distribution.
Some people shown interest in my reference to the Coders at Work book by Peter Seibel so I’m linking to its website. The book consists of great interviews to 15 of the best programmers of all time, namely:
- Frances Allen: Pioneer in optimizing compilers, first woman to win the Turing Award (2006) and first female IBM fellow
- Joe Armstrong: Inventor of Erlang
- Joshua Bloch: Author of the Java collections framework, now at Google
- Bernie Cosell: One of the main software guys behind the original ARPANET IMPs and a master debugger
- L. Peter Deutsch: Author of Ghostscript, implementer of Smalltalk-80 at Xerox PARC and Lisp 1.5 on PDP-1
- Brad Fitzpatrick: Writer of LiveJournal, OpenID, memcached, and Perlbal
- Dan Ingalls: Smalltalk implementor and designer
- Simon Peyton Jones: Coinventor of Haskell and lead designer of Glasgow Haskell Compiler
- Donald Knuth: Author of The Art of Computer Programming and creator of TeX
- Peter Norvig: Director of Research at Google and author of the standard text on AI
- Guy Steele: Coinventor of Scheme and part of the Common Lisp Gang of Five, currently working on Fortress
- Ken Thompson: Inventor of UNIX
- Jamie Zawinski: Author of XEmacs and early Netscape/Mozilla hacker
This list has been blatantly copy pasted from the Amazon listing.