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Linux.com: Easing Into Editors: emacs

Sep 11, 2000, 11:49 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Jim Jones)

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"In the last Linux editor article, Easing Into Editors: vim, we took a look at some of the basics of using one of the "standard" text editors, vim, that is available by default on most Linux/Unix systems. We started off by discussing the fact that a lot of the work done in Linux is done in an editor of some sort. This makes it imperative that users jump into learning how to use those editors with both feet. We also learned that, despite appearances, vim is relatively straightforward, and after some practice, becomes quite easy to use while remaining a very powerful text editor. Working with text files is its sole job, and it does it very well."

"In this article, we are going to be discussing the emacs editor. While we learned that the vim editor is primarily concerned with unadorned text files, the emacs editor is capable of a lot more than simple text file editing. Emacs can do virtually anything that you would want to do on a computer without having launch a separate program (I am sure that someone has even customized a "butter your toast" meta-function). It is that powerful! It can check, display, and manage your email, and keep you up to date on the latest network newsgroup postings. You can also use it to issue commands to the command shell, compile and debug programs, and play games without ever having to leave the editor's workspace."

"Because of all of this functionality and versatility, mastering the emacs editor can be akin to mastering calculus or trigonometry. It is not impossible, but it can take a lot of time and trial and error. However, if in the end, you want something that can do it all (maybe you want to slip the surly bonds of straight text editing), then emacs is just what you ordered."

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