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Re: Beginning Hobbyist Programmer Question

From: Rupert Swarbrick
Subject: Re: Beginning Hobbyist Programmer Question
Date: Thu, 17 Jan 2008 16:47:57 -0600
User-agent: Pan/0.132 (Waxed in Black)

On Thu, 17 Jan 2008 14:04:46 -0800, signups17 wrote:
> Can anyone provide a cogent explanation for why I should take the time
> to climb that learning curve? What are the benefits, as you see them?
> Also, assuming I'm convinced, can you point me in the direction of a
> good tutorial?
> Thanks in advance.


I'm not sure if there's an official FAQ for this group, but this sort of 
question comes up *a lot*. My comments:

1) emacs is fun to use (this _really_ is the most important bit in my 
opinion, and I've never encountered it in any other editor)
2) emacs is rather ludicrously customizable. You can write bits of elisp 
code to change pretty much any part of its behaviour. Although usually 
someone's done it in advance.
3) More generically, a powerful editor like emacs will allow you to avoid 
retyping/copying/pasting so much, since its replacing functions, macros 
and much more will allow you to rename the 70 variables you needed to add 
a dollar to in 5 seconds, without developing RSI.

Now, the previous bit was my personal opinion. About tutorials, 
presumably you mean an emacs tutorial (after all this is g.e.h), so:

1) Open up emacs and type C-h t (that is Ctrl-h followed by t) and read.
2) When you've finished reading that, there are numerous tutorials on the 
internet - you could always start at

Other general comments I might make:

1) "why I should take the time to"... isn't a great way to get slightly 
hide-bound and clannish devotees of a text editor like me in a mood to be 
2) In general, specific questions are much more likely to get good 
answers in a newsgroup. Looking quickly, I'd say that 9/10 of the first 
page of hits in a google search for "emacs tutorial" returns something 
useful. Maybe it would be worth trying that?


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