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Marcin ‘mbork’ Borkowski

2014-07-25 What is Emacs, really

This might be old news for more seasoned Emacs users, but as I have been using it for only a bit more than a decade, I feel like a, say, intermediate user.

So, basically, some time ago I had a kind of revelation and I understood what Emacs really is. Many people think it’s a text editor; that’s not 100% true. There’s also a joke that it is an operating system; this has some grain of truth in it, but it’s also not the whole story.

What is Emacs, then? It is a DIY kit for building Your Personal Text Editor™. It comes with a default one, which is decent (but not phenomenal, unless you tweak it a bit/a lot, depending on your preferences), but it’s neither the only, nor necessarily the best one (there exists one other really good – maybe even better – editor, which we shall not name here). The real power of Emacs is that you can build your custom editor on top of it. And this is going to be the awesomest one, because, you know, it is the only one really suited to your needs.

Pretty obvious, I know. But I guess it’s important that you get that when you make the decision about which editor to choose, so maybe someone will find this post useful.

CategoryBlog, CategoryEnglish, CategoryEmacs

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