Author: DJ Language: text
Description: Emacs Feedback from DJ Timestamp: 2019-08-05 14:39:15 +0000
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  1. Hi, Mike and Wes (and amazing teams behind the scenes),
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  3. Long-time listener, first-time writer.  I came to JB as a disciple of Allan Jude, but I'm also a big fan of the current hosts, especially of Mike's personality (much like mine), and Wes's fresh and polished perspective, especially with some languages I've never worked with but am now curious about, thanks to this show. I hope this first e-mail is not too long-winded.
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  5. What brought me out of the woodwork is that you guys just happen to mention getting into Emacs, just a few weeks after my first foray into Emacs. I'm a seasoned Vim user, and I prefer the Vim-style UI for all the things--insufficient support for vi/Vim keybindings in an IDE (or almost anything else) is a dealbreaker for me. While classic Emacs keybindings are quite alien to me, I am right at home with evil-mode (Spacemacs/DooM Emacs can make this quite easy to set up).
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  7. I got curious about Emacs mainly for org-mode, as I had heard about it on BSD Now and stumbled across soon after looking for a solution to my own complex project-management problems. As an added bonus, Emacs has some very nice git-related packages. Vim has plugins that aim to approximate such functionality, but I find them to be lacking. I'm also not a big fan of having lots of Vim plugins, as they can be difficult to maintain across systems and may break easily.
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  9. One point that I hope to add for this show is that Emacs is meant to be way more than a text editor. It's basically (jokes aside) an operating system, virtual machine, elisp runtime, etc., designed to be expanded easily with elisp packages. Don't get me wrong--I still prefer Vim (or neovim) as a straight text editor, but if I want to leverage more advanced functionality, I would rather mess with elisp than Vim script/plugins, which I find more cumbersome and less robust. The flip side is resource usage--I can simultaneously open dozens of big buffers in Vim under 10 MiB of RAM; opening four little buffers in Emacs (Spacemacs) can eat up 1.5 GiB (out of <8, on a particular laptop). Just know what functionality you're getting for that--it's not a mere text editor.
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  11. Another point for the show is a soft intro to functional programming. Wes mentioned Emacs because of the packages supporting Clojure development when he started with that. Elisp seems to be fairly intuitive and well documented, as a little functional language its own right (correct me if I'm wrong)--this makes for a soft intro to FP. Most of my coding has been in the space of embedded systems and low-level languages--not much functional programming to be had. This show has gotten me curious about FP, which is quite old in concept, and getting implemented nicely in modern languages. For me, I still rely heavily on special Vim keys that are not mapped in evil-mode, which causes some paper cuts. However, elisp makes it easy to customize the desired UI functionality with very short programs/elisp statements in a config file. It's quite a refreshing exercise for someone like me.
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  13. I hope this helps the show coming from someone else also getting started in Emacs from a different perspective.
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  15. I look forward to future episodes--please keep up the great work!
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  17. Best,
  18. DJ
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