[rescue] emacs vs. Word!, was Re: SUN PCMCIA SBus Card

Andrew M. Hoerter amh at POBOX.COM
Mon May 28 10:55:52 CDT 2018

On Mon, May 28, 2018 at 09:19:15AM -0600, Patrick Giagnocavo wrote:

>Common LISP (the standard) has something like 978 functions/reserved words
>in it.  Emacs in  a standard install has something like 10,000 commands
>available across all packages.  I'll point out that Common LISP the
>standard was criticized for being very bloated because they needed to
>accommodate Symbolics' variant of LISP.

That's not a very fair comparison; Emacs Lisp includes in its standard
library a complete toolkit for building a text editor, and most of
those packages implement optional functionality that you can ignore.
If you're using Elisp to write your own tweaks or extensions, as one
might use Common Lisp to write an ordinary program, you can be
productive with a small subset of those functions.

>I've found my real love, and it is in outlining editors. I have a Mac OS 9
>machine and have MORE 3.1 on it (a guy wrote an exporter to XML) and
>Inspiration 6.0 and a couple of others, including the excellent
>Outliner/PIM called IN Control v3.5. Outliners work the way my brain does.

In that case, should you find yourself in emacs again, check out Org
mode.  It's quite powerful and has a devoted userbase.

>When I get into programming LISP (on my plate), I still won't be using
>Emacs at a power user level, if I use Emacs at all.

There's a very popular Lisp mode for Emacs called SLIME, which gives
perhaps some flavor of how the old Lisp Machines were used (highly
interactive, builtin reflection/introspection facilities, integrated
debugging).  Highly recommended to give it a try, and you don't need
to be a power user by any means.

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