[rescue] getting started with emacs

Carl R. Friend crfriend at rcn.com
Mon May 28 20:27:01 CDT 2018

On 05/28/2018 08:40 PM, Jonathan Patschke wrote:

> The manual page is pretty useless as a runtime document.

    Most are fairly useless in the "heat of the moment" to be quite
honest, and there are times I've gotten so frustrated when shoved
into an emacs environment (e.g. when the $EDITOR variable gets
ignored) that I've been known to log into another session and "nine"
the emacs process just to get me out of it.

> Emacs has a built-in tutorial.B  To get to it, start Emacs and try Ctrl-h
> followed by t to start the tutorial.

    This is likely to be a decent starting point, but I'd also recommend
finding any one of the various keystroke "cheat sheets" available on
the web, printing it out, and having it handy if you're likely to get
thrust into the situation above.

    Obviously, emacs (Escape Meta Alt Control Something) is not my
favourite editor, but I also came up in the AT&T UNIX world not in
the BSD one.  (Two things have come out of Berkeley.  BSD and LSD.
This is not a coincidence.)  But, I still have to deal with it from
time to time -- which I do, just grudgingly.

    I would prefer TECO to emacs any day of the week -- and one can
run TECO perfectly credibly on a DECwriter or an ASR-33.

> If you get frustrated, you can exit Emacs with Ctrl-x followed by c.

    Or, if you're really infuriated, the method above.  (Of note here,
is that to folks who are used to systems from the '60s, the control
key was primarily used to alter the state of a program (e.g. stop,
abort, dump core, or query status) NOT to serve as a command header.
This is what I find most confusing about emacs.  A control-c to
me means to some operating systems to dump the core for a process and
abort it.  Control-a simply aborted it.  Control-t allowed you to
find out what its memory, PC, and I/O usage was at any point.

    All in all, I'm reminded of the quite hilarious, if rather obscure
to non-tech readers, cartoon of a young lad and his father with the
son asking, "Why do we have to hide from the police, daddy?", to
which the father replies, "Because we use vi, son; they use emacs."
The joy in this is that the ordering doesn't matter; it's just as
funny one way as it is the other.

    In short, yet one more "holy war".


| Carl Richard Friend (UNIX Sysadmin)            | Boylston            |
| Minicomputer Collector / Enthusiast            | Massachusetts, USA  |
| mailto:crfriend at rcn.com                        +---------------------+
| http://users.rcn.com/crfriend/museum           | ICBM: 42:20N 71:43W |

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