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EmacsDefense

OSs and GUIs come and go, only Emacs has lasting power. -- PerAbrahamsen

The following is an excerpt from a posting in reply to a poor newbie who was overwhelmed by the power of Emacs. Published with permission from the author.

 From: PerAbrahamsen
 Newsgroups: news:comp.emacs, news:alt.religion.emacs
 Subject: Re: what's so fun about emacs?
 Date: 06 Mar 2000 10:03:44 +0100
 Organization: The Church of Emacs
 User-Agent: Gnus/5.0804 (Gnus v5.8.4) Emacs/20.4

[...]

Emacs has so much power that nobody will ever master it completely. You can always be a stronger user with Emacs. With a "simple" editor like pico or notepad, you will quickly master it completely, which means that it will not allow you to grow further. Sure, it will take a new user a little longer to be productive with Emacs than Pico, but by starting with Emacs he will have an editor that will grow with him for the rest of his life.

[...]

20 MB is 10 cent worth of disc space. For these 10 cents, you get the most powerful text editor in the world, an IDE that supports more programming language "out of the box" than all other IDEs in the world combined, the most feature-rich News and Mail reader ever, a web browser, a calendar that knows more cultures than you have heard of, and your own personal psychotherapist. If you think 10 cents is too much for a text editor that has been specially optimized for every text processing need in your remaining life, you ought to reevaluate your value system.

[...]

What you call "Windows" is just one of many window systems that has come in and out of fashion during the lifetime of Emacs. Emacs (in one version or another) has supported most of them, SunView, X10, X11 (Open Look, Athena, Motif), PM, Win32, Mac. Emacs has provided a sound foundation that has allowed programmers to be productive with all these, and will also provide a foundation for whatever window system will be hot tomorrow.

What Emacs doesn't do is to give up that foundation in order to follow the latest trend. Instead, it incorporates what is good and compensates for the rest. This -- off course -- will make Emacs feel "old" for the followers of hype, but the wise will see its intrinsic power and lasting value.


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