Saturday, September 16, 2023

Interview with an Emacs Enthusiast in 2023 [Colorized]

I don't recommend watching more than a minute.

This video brings back memories.  There was an editor war among computer programmers in the late 1980s and 1990s.  Two of the factions were "VI" and "Emacs".  I heard plenty of arguments for both.  I was forced to learn "VI" on the job in 1988, which is so complex that I wouldn't recommend anyone try to learn it.  However, once I got past the learning curve, I really liked it and I still use it.

The problem is that these editors are complex systems with many powerful features that are difficult to learn.  You can write code that changes how the editors work.   They were born out of a previous era where graphical user interfaces didn't exist, but programmers still wanted powerful editing features.   However, if all you wanted to do was edit text, these editors were overkill by a very wide margin.

Thanks to modern graphical user interfaces, there are editors that are simple to use, like Visual Studio Code, which still have all the features a computer programmer could want.

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