[CALUG] Best programming app
dododge at dododge.net
Tue Nov 29 19:01:06 CST 2005
On Thu, Nov 24, 2005 at 04:48:32PM -0500, James Ewing Cottrell 3rd wrote:
> Dave Dodge wrote:
> >Emacs can do just about anything (xemacs was originally the
> >core of a commercial IDE), but it does have a terrible learning curve
> >and can easily frustrate a new user.
> I would take issue with that. The FSF has successfully taught their
> secretaries and other non-computer users emacs easily
Sure, but in that environment you'd have a bunch of seasoned emacs
users on hand. I think someone trying to learn it at home on their
own could become intimidated much more easily.
Granted, I'm still in the mindset of learning it in the pre-WWW days
with only minimal GUI support. Since it now has menus and toolbars
available, and the Internet is usually close at hand for digging up
answers, it's probably a lot easier to get started with it.
> The tutorial and help system (as well as info) is much better than
> having to RTFM.
Yes, but as an example: bring up the tutorial and notice that the
first mention of how to switch windows is somewhere around FOURTEEN
pages down. It's very easy to find yourself in a split window and on
the "wrong" side of that split, even while just getting started. Not
knowing C-x C-o drive me absolutely nuts and angrily aborted my first
several sessions with emacs. Eventually I found a co-worker with a
good cheat sheet and was able to make some progress. Again, I'll
grant that some of the multi-window behavior has changed, and these
days someone getting started can just use the mouse to switch focus.
> and many GUIs as well, so many already know a few emacs commands.
My most surprising case: I once instinctively typed C-x C-s (save the
current document) in Framemaker before I could stop myself, and was
shocked to then see that it had worked.
> And the (moded) vi commands don't translate well to commands line
I have friends who run bash with vi-style line editing (something the
underlying "readline" library does support). I get confused very
quickly when trying to do anything on their machines.
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