mileszs

I am a lot quieter on the Internet

Force Feeding Myself Emacs

I am a Vim guy. I run the @vimtips Twitter account. I have given Vim presentations. I maintain a couple Vim plugins (kinda). I have cultivated a list of various helpful Vim links. My point is that I really like Vim. I might even love it. Who am I kidding? I definitely love Vim.

However, I am going to use Emacs every day for the month of February.

I want to challenge myself. I want to learn more about Emacs. I want to understand why so many of our industry’s elites have, in the short history of computer programming, loyally and sometimes fanatically used Emacs. I want to have a little fun.

Thankfully, I know several people using Emacs. I asked for some advice as to how to hit the ground running on February first (via Twitter, among other means). In case you would like to try Emacs also, I thought I would document the helpful suggestions I received.

Suggestions for Getting Started

Five people responded (@tihm, @kyleashipley, @gregors, @damionjunk, and @mediocretes). Four of them recommended the Emacs Starter Kit. That sounds like a ringing endorsement!

Damion also suggested installing Emacs 24 via Homebrew (as I’m on a Mac). That lead me to the article Emacs 24 Rails Development Environment – From Scratch to Productive in 5 Minutes, from which I expect I’ll rip some ideas.

Nate (mediocretes) also suggested his fork of Expected Behavior’s common-files, and added “now with twittering-mode” which sounds both wonderful and awful.

Of course, there is Emacs’ Vim Mode. I will have to try that before February has run its course.


That seems like a pretty good start. I hope. I would like to learn a little elisp, and write an extension perhaps, but I doubt I’ll get that far.

Wish me luck. If nothing else, by the end of the month, I will at least be able to say I’ve been, albeit temporarily, on both sides of the Editor War.