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The one true editor. Or is it?

Mar 03, 2009, 23:03 (7 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Greg Laden)

[ Thanks to Greg Laden for this link. ]

"But the true mystery of Emacs comes from the question: Is it the best editor or not?!?! In my personal journey in search of an answer to this question, over two years now, I have gone back and forth, bouncing between two utterly opposite ends of the spectrum, with respect to this question. Emacs is so powerful that it must be the best editor. Emacs is so arcane that it must be pure evil. When I feel down on Emacs, I look at vi. vi is a seductress. In its simplicity it is a nude, virginal beauty that seems to acknowledge that I alone exist in all the world, and it alone exists to serve my modal desires. And then suddenly I feel dirty and realize that I may be consorting with the world's most evil application, at least with respect to home row key command configurations.

"How many times have I typed "ctrl-x ctrl-f .emacs" and then gazed at my configuration file, trying to figure out what it all means?!? Verily, in using the editor, I am astounded at its speed and cleanness one minute, and frustrated by its crappy fonts and inability to automatically handle word wrap the next. I am enticed by the prospect of playing a game of chess with my text editor one minute, and frightened by the potential mix of Major and Minor Modes the next. I fall in love with the Command Chords, then I worry that if my Control or Meta key breaks, all will be lost, forever."

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