Ogbe on Why He Uses Emacs

Last week I wrote about how Dennis Ogbe uses Org Mode to Blog. While I was on his site, I looked at some of his other posts and found one about why he uses Emacs.

The post was written fairly early in his Emacs use so it has the air of discovery that we all feel when we start. It's a nice post and something worth pointing prospective Emacs users to. If someone asks you why they should use Emacs, this is a good explanation of some of its benefits.

The main features Ogbe found compelling were

  • TRAMP
    Ogbe is a PhD student and does a lot of work on remote machines. Before Emacs, he was using SSH and Vim to edit files remotely. With TRAMP, he simply opens the remote file like he would a local one but with a filespec that includes the remote machine's name.
  • dired
    One of the things that Vim users are always doing is dropping into the shell to run an ls to find the name of a file to edit. With dired, you can do all this without leaving Emacs. Of course, you can also perform the common file operations—renaming, copying, changing permissions, etc.—that you might otherwise do in the shell from dired too.
  • Org Mode
    At this point in his Org mode use, Ogbe was using it mostly for writing READMEs and taking meeting notes. You can see in his later posts that he started using more of his potential, including using it to publish his blog as I wrote about previously.
  • mu4e
    Ogbe discovered early on the benefits of moving as much as he could into Emacs. He uses mu4e to handle both his school and personal email. Like Ben Maughan he found that mu4e brought speed and simplicity to his Email chores.
  • MATLAB
    Ogbe is in Electrical Engineering and does a lot of work with MATLAB. He doesn't like their GUI app and used to run the MATLAB shell in a separate window with tmux. Now he just uses matlab-mode and keeps everything in Emacs.

Those of you that have been around Irreal for a while know that I like reading about how other people use Emacs and integrate it into their workflow. If you're the same way, you'll probably enjoy reading Ogbe's post.

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  • John Hammer

    awesome thanks for the post.