Emacs

The Emacs section collects notes about Emacs.

I was quite inspired by a fellow disciple who was in charge of the Library from 2002 until 2007.

He was using Emacs as his only editor, having been taught its benefits since College years.

(He was a very good boy, I am honoured I was working with him. We shared a common interest in Latin language, Virgil and American folk poetry.)

Over the years Emacs has become one of the main tools for our service.

Emacs is not trivial to use, though.

In cycling world, if a regular editor or IDE would be compared to a nice fancy bike, Emacs could be compared to the whole cycling team equipment, including service cars, specialty bikes, gym and the plane to fly the team to the Giro d’Italia.

Once the user learns the basic, and the basics are properly covered, he can add more aspects of his daily worflow.

He can manage:

  • his writing
  • his own site, from one or many org file
  • his mail accounts
  • his bookmarks with related offline archive
  • his sysadmin chores, remotedly as easily as locally
  • his filesystem navigation
  • his programming
  • his feeds management
  • his TeX typography
  • basically most if not all of his computer-related activities.

Emacs is one of the most striking example of the fact that in real life, simplicity is seldom equal to «being easy».

«Easy» means to do something a user does not have to think much about. He just pushes buttons, swipes phone screens, click here and there and the system (that is, the engineer who made it) will make some choices for him.

«Simplicity» means to be able to perform task, even a complex one, with the level of flexibility required and in the the simplest possible way, without sacrificing the ultimate results for the sake of being «just a bit simpler».