Python IDE/text-editor

harrismh777 harrismh777 at
Mon Apr 18 03:33:30 EDT 2011

Jorgen Grahn wrote:
> Based on the comments here, it seems that emacs would have to be the
>>  editor-in-chief for programmers. I currently use SciTE at work; is it
>>  reasonable to, effectively, bill my employer for the time it'll take
>>  me to learn emacs?

Editor-in-chief is a bit strong... but many folks that process text 
files use nothing else... programming is just one venue where emacs shines.

I learned vi early on at the IBM lab @Rochester back in the very early 
'90s on the RS6000; IBM's Unix version AIX. Back in the day the machines 
did not have graphics monitors; rather, they used Info Windows like the 
3151 (basically, dumb terminals with RS-232C connection on a short 25 
pin cable).  So, I became proficient at vi and use it profusely even to 
this very day... the ESC key is worn out on my keyboard !  (but, I 
digressed, as usual)

I didn't take the time to learn emacs when I first heard of it because 
it was presented to me as "just another gui editor" with strange meta 
key relationships (and besides, I was told, real men use vi).

I didn't try emacs until I got to know RMS (by reading his books, 
listening to his speeches on-line, interacting on the FSF) and I wanted 
to know a little bit more about how he ticked... how better than to 
learn to use the editor he developed. It was then that I realized that 
this so-called "gui editor" was actually a Lisp environment capable of 
extension and expansion applicable to all sorts of activities from email 
to program development. I have been using emacs ever since and loving it 
too.   Yes, I still use vi and always will.

Having said all of that, I was able to learn emacs 2.3 from the built-in 
tutorial in about an hour (I'm a little slow). Emacs could take a person 
many years to fully master and appreciate, but the basics come pretty 
easily for a good hour's effort and a cup of coffee. Learning how to 
extend its capabilities with Lisp might take a while longer obviously.

Bottom line for my two cents worth here, put emacs in your tool-kit... 
you'll be glad you did it.

kind regards,
m harris

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