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

From: Barry Margolin
Subject: Re: Emacs history, and "Is Emacs difficult to learn?"
Date: Tue, 30 Jul 2013 17:19:15 -0400
User-agent: MT-NewsWatcher/3.5.3b3 (Intel Mac OS X)

In article <>,
 Emanuel Berg <> wrote:

> Stefan Monnier <> writes:
> >> depends on how you use spreadsheets. Summing a column is not
> >> programming, but yes, there is a second page, or sheet, to
> >> spreadsheets.

You can also put "IF" expressions in cells.

> >
> > Same as "writing (setq smie-indent-basic 8)" is not programming,
> > indeed.
> No, but that is not the Elisp of Emacs I speak of, when I speak of
> the Elisp of Emacs. That's just an interface, albeit a good one,
> to specify settings.

The very first program I wrote was a BASIC program that was just a bunch 
of PRINT statements, to make some simple ASCII art (it was the command 
insignia from ST:TOS).  Was I not programming, just because it was a 
simple, linear set of statements? I "taught" the computer to do 
something it couldn't previously do. I know it was trivial, but you have 
to start somewhere.

I think that almost anything that tells the computer to perform a set of 
operations can be considered programming. Some programs are more complex 
than others, and some programmers have more skills and know how to make 
the computer jump through more hoops.

It's like many other skills. If someone only knows how to play 
"Chopsticks" on the piano, they're still making music. They're not going 
to get hired as a professional musician, though.

Barry Margolin,
Arlington, MA
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