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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: Tue, 30 Jul 2013 21:47:17 -0700 (PDT)
User-agent: G2/1.0

On Wednesday, July 31, 2013 2:49:15 AM UTC+5:30, Barry Margolin wrote:
> 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.

I think that computer science is impoverished by the penchants of academic 
computer scientists.

Analogy: Say I am a physicist and since E = mc2 therefore mass is just energy 
and therefore we dont need to study mechanics/statics etc.  Just heat light 
electricity etc is enough.  I dare say this would create a skewed view of 
physics and create impoverished physicists out of students who came under such 
a regimen.

In the same vein CSists emphasise algorithms too much over data.
>From the typical academic viewpoint: Elisp is just a lisp with some additional 
>features suitable for editor-writing.
>From a data viewpoint: Elisp is more different from vanilla lisp than lisp is 
>from C, given its primitive data-structures like buffer, window etc.
Anyone who knows the goings-on of the typical academic setup will know that the 
first view has more traction there than the second.
And thence follows the reduced respectability of VB, Cobol, sql, spreadsheets 
as compared to 'serious' languages like C/C++.

Some more of the foibles of us academics in my blog-post and the followup:

> 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.

Heh! In that category myself. My friends and colleagues think I am a musician.
But for me it remains ever a black art how real musicians can take a random 
tune and add a left-hand in real-time.

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