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Re: Emacs history, and "Is Emacs difficult to learn?"

From: Rustom Mody
Subject: Re: Emacs history, and "Is Emacs difficult to learn?"
Date: Mon, 29 Jul 2013 08:37:29 -0700 (PDT)
User-agent: G2/1.0

On Monday, July 29, 2013 8:16:05 PM UTC+5:30, Jambunathan K wrote:
> Personally, my first love with Emacs was when someone showed M-q to me
> and the most uglily indented text aligned nicely between the margins.

I started using emacs in the early 90s because I wanted something better than 
an interactive shell for teaching interaction with a (pre)haskell interpreter.  
Dunno if comint mode existed then -- I at least did not know about it.
Wrote my own mode which used to crash not just emacs but even linux in 
interesting ways! Couple of years later, found scheme-mode written on top of 
comint and search-n-replaced it for my purposes.

> Specifically, if someone is interested in introducing Emacs to a
> non-Emacs user, what strategies should they adopt to maximize their
> chances of having a new convert.  I welcome any insights from both the
> victors and the vanquished on the "Convert to or introduce Emacs
> battle".

Find myself increasingly on the vanquished side nowadays.
This has many sides: For one I can corroborate Emanuel's observation that 
today's kids are more 'spoilt' -- as google gives more and more, attention-span 
gets less and less.

I am frequently asked to use something more 'modern/reasonable' etc than emacs 
(eclipse/sublime-text etc).

Some of the reasons are simply noob-acclimatization issues like tutorial uses 
C-f/b/n/p instead of cursor keys, non-use of cua keystrokes etc.

However some things are from the pov of an old user more crucial:
 - poor support for refactoring
 - poor support for mainstream languages like java

which make it quite hard to sell emacs in an eclipse-d world.

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