M-x all-things-emacs

The Editor of a Lifetime

August 21st, 2014 by Ryan McGeary · 44 Comments

Perry Metzger has been using Emacs as his text editor since early September, 1983 — nearly 31 years. Over much of that time, it has also been his primary way to read email, compile programs, and perform a variety of other tasks.
Why would anyone use a single program for that long? This talk is partially intended to answer that question.
Emacs remains one of the most important user interfaces (and text editors) for computer professionals almost 40 years after it was created. The talk is intended to be part history, part philosophy, and part speculation on the future. It will also teach Emacs fans how to explain to their skeptical friends why it is still a good idea to learn a tool from the terminal era that requires memorization of dozens of control sequences in an age of GUIs and smart phones.

Tags: misc

44 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Jason // Aug 31, 2014 at 1:25 am

    I couldn’t hear the questions in the QA segment at the end. Is there a transcription of this talk anywhere?

  • 2 Mark Janes // Sep 6, 2014 at 5:45 am

    After 10 years in emacs, I finally found my email support in the recent “notmuch” work from Carl Worth. If you spent any time at all in gnus, you owe yourself some time to try out notmuch. You’ll be telling your friends about it, if you have any friends that use emacs :)