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dws (341)

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Journal of dws (341)

Thursday April 08, 2004
01:01 AM

Emacs redux

[ #18234 ]
I switched off of Emacs a bunch of years back after most of the vendors moved the meta key into an awkward position. But after a few days pair programming with a proficient Emacs user, it's clear that I'm going to have to dust off the old muscle memory. What finally pushed me over the edge was watching his Emacs do a CVS history of a file, with each line color coded by age, and stamped with the last author and edit date. I'm not aware of a way to do that with vi/vim.
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  • Emacs is a relatively-easy-to-program generic user interface manager for curses-based and X11-based displays. Lots and lots and lots of specific useful applications have been written for it.

    Oh yeah, and I hear there's an editor buried in there somewhere. {grin}

    On a practical note, if you haven't hacked emacs in a while, the newer X11 goodies are nice, and the customization guides can help with almost all useful tweaks now. Very little .emacs stuff any more.

    • Randal L. Schwartz
    • Stonehenge
  • After nearly four years with it I can't imagine using emacs for extended periods of time without my Kinesis [] -- Ctrl/Alt at your thumbs, where they belong!
    • One of the developers here has a Kinesis. I'll give it a try, but have to admit that certain parts of my anatomy retract at the thought.
      • It takes a while to get used to it (give yourself a few days), but once you're acclimated it's amazing. The only problem with the keyboard is it's really bad for gaming, if you're into that sort of thing.
  • If you are on some unix variant, xmodmap may help with the key location. It's a bit arcane, but it allows me to add alternate ctrl/alt keys (e.g. I don't really need a caps lock key so I have an extra ctrl key), which are usable in my shell as well.