Continuing with yesterday’s theme of Why I Use Emacs, here is an excellent post by Bozhidar Batsov over at (think) on why he uses Emacs. Anyone who follows the Emacs scene will be familiar with Batsov. He blogs regularly and is the author of
cider as well as the excellent series of short posts over at Emacs Redux. And, of course, Sacha has interviewed him. Here at Irreal, we’ve talked about Batsov and his works several times.
Batsov starts by pointing out that although many younger programmers prefer IDEs over text editors, the IDEs all suffer from the defect that they’re not really good at editing text: they make use of the arrow and other auxiliary keys that are death to efficient touch typing and mostly rely on the mouse and menus for their UIs. They are, in short, not optimized for the thing we do the most: editing text.
He remarks that Emacs is what you want it to be, a perspicacious remark, I think. You can configure it to work how you want it to work not how someone else thinks you should want it to work. As I’ve said so many times, this is the result of Emacs’ wonderful extensibility; its provision of a lisp environment that happens to have a lot of functions useful for text editing that you can mold to meet your needs.
Batsov covers a lot of ground so I’ll let you read the post yourself. It will be well worth your time. I will note that he offers a comparison with Vim and IDEs that strike me as fair and balanced so if you’re trying to make up your mind, you may find his discussion useful.
Update: Sasha → Sacha