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# Emacs, Lovely
For the last few months I've been tinkering with Emacs at a deeper
level. I got started with it at my first job as an intern 15 years ago
and have not looked back ever since. To be completely honest, I don't
remember how I learned. All my colleagues used it and I got started with
some basic modes thanks to them. I suppose I had better memory 15 years
ago!
For those who don't know, Emacs is a text editor created by Richard
Stallman, David Moon, and Guy Steele in 1976. It's available for nearly
every platform known to man and can be customized to infinity. A friend
jokes about how if Emacs was an operating system, that's the one I'd
run.
Reality is, to be able to get around Emacs you just need to learn a few
things, such as dired commands, open, close buffer, save, search,
etc. But it can go so much further! Did you know that you can find out
the lunar phases with `M-x lunar-phases'?
# How Emacs works for me
Alright, fair enough, the lunar phases tip is not strong of a reason
to switch to Emacs (or to even try it). But this editor, to me, has
been the perfect fit for several purposes. Here's a few:
* Thanks to `org-mode', I write a journal, take notes, have my TO-DO
list, write technical documentation, and manage JIRA tickets.
* `go-mode' is an excellent Go IDE that I use every day.
* `shell-mode' to use the shell while you're writing code.
* `twittering-mode' :blush:
I code all my software and do all my writing using Emacs. It works
well for me. I wish multi-language support was more straight forward
and, while I have figured it out for the most part and feel
comfortable with it, setting it up wasn't trivial.
# Where it falls short for me
Emacs, however, is not for everyone. First of all, I tend to recommend
`vim' to newbies thanks to its wide support. But that's not the
point. Emacs hasn't been perfect for me (so far) for a few things:
* Raltime Communications. I use [Telegram] and [Slack] on a daily
basis; while there are modes for both on Emacs, they are not great
or as convenient as the native alternatives or other command line
options.
* Email. I have tried and made it work. I've used `gnus',=mu4e=, and
`notmuch'. While `notmuch' worked the best for me, handling 3
accounts and a somewhat large index made Emacs sluggish and
unresponsive. I'll stick to [Thunderbird] for now.
Again, these didn't work for me, but your mileage may vary.
=> https://telegram.org/ Telegram
=> https://slack.com/ Slack
=> https://www.thunderbird.net Thunderbird
# Best resources
The beauty of this community is how responsive and supportive it
is. Here are some of the best resources I've found for all things
Emacs:
* [Stackoverflow]. Duh!
* [/r/emacs] to learn how other people are using the editor.
* The original [Emacs Manual] by Mr. Stallman himself. Consider
purchasing the [printed version] and support the FSF.
* The [org-mode manual] for all things `org-mode'.
* [Mastering Emacs] is an amazing resource. Similar to the Emacs
Manual but easy to read and more practical. Worth every penny.
=> https://stackoverflow.com/ Stackoverflow
=> https://www.reddit.com/r/emacs/ /r/emacs
=> https://www.gnu.org/software/emacs/manual/pdf/emacs.pdf Emacs Manual
=> https://shop.fsf.org/books/gnu-emacs-manual-18th-edition-v-261 printed version
=> https://orgmode.org/manual org-mode manual
=> https://www.masteringemacs.org/ Mastering Emacs
# Where to go from here
My plan is to publish my `.emacs' file and explain it part by part, so
stay tuned for more Emacs goodness.