Sunday, September 2, 2007

Emacs pinky

Beware of attractive Blondes in tight cloths.... lol

On a lighter note, I've had emacs on the brain lately. Which is some one strange as I'm Vi man with a strong liking for VIM.

Generally GNU Emacs is the emacsen by which I compare emacsen. I first learned the basics of using emacs day to day using XEmacs on a Windows machine. Nice editor although i've never cared much for the Meta key. Generally I found emacs key bindings to be the kind, that if you could remember what type of key sequence it was you could figure it out. Generally things are some what consistent, Control + D, deletes the next character (right of the point). While Meta + D deletes the next word. Basically as I remember it for regular commands. A Control+Key combo does a smaller action while a Meta+Same Key combo does a larger action. Like if Control+Key works on words, Meta+Key works on lines e.t.c. And classes of commands I think generally had a consistent prefix. Control+X+Control+F Open/Find files, Control+X+Control+S Save current file, Control+X+Control+C exit editor, e.t.c Most of the mutli-file Editor related commands I recall focused on a Control+X prefix arrangement, like Contorl+X+2 to open a second buffer, Control+X+O to switch to the other e.t.c

I've tried a number of emacsen but never found one I really like enough to use a lot. GNU Emacs I don't' care much for but respect it among emacsen. I find it to fat and slow to be effective. On my desktop it's no problem to run it, theres a lot of RAM and a fast CPU. On my laptop theres a budget CPU and moderate RAM so it's slow as nails to get it's motor warmed up. Not being much of a GNU Emacs man, I usually keep a fairly out of the box installation.

I haven't tried XEmacs on my laptop but I don't expect it to be faster then GNU Emacs. I think I would prefer XEmacs though.

MicroEMACS 4.0 and variants I've used and enjoyed, you could say MicroEMACS is my favorite. I like MicroEMACS in that it is small yet extensible. With just enough features to be useful Some what like Vi but with perks. Most of my issues with the editor would be solved by learning more about emacs ways of doing things and the marco language. I remember poking around a Traditional C style code base as well.

The only emacsen I find my self using often when I do actually use one. Is mg, a Micro GNU Emacs like editor maintained by OpenBSD. It's a pretty bare bone emacs but it gets the job done nicely. Since I'm to stuborn to install Vim on my file server (OpenBSD) and would _NEVER_ dream of installing GNU Emacs on it. I'll usually use mg when I need to edit multiple files. Although I could probably use Window and multiple instances of nVi for the same purpose.

I've tried Jove but never cared for it. An intermediate between the GNU Emacs/XEmacs variants and MicroEMACS variants I'd say.

I generally have preferences but I do believe in knowing a lot of things when possible. While I don't remember most of the commands I learned in XEmacs, and prefer the Vi style of doing things more to my taste. Especially to my wrists and fingers liking !! (Escape Meta Alt Control Shiftritis). I can use Emacs fine but generally prefer not to. I generally prefer a light and fast emacsen to most other editors if I can't have a Vi based one.

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