The road back to Emacs

You reap what you sow when it comes to customer service. Which is why users of open source turn into maintainers or creators of source: because it’s what the “customer service reps” do. They treat users as co-maintainers. And a user will get a lot closer to a solution if he shows that he’s done his footwork first. Of course, this doesn’t work for everyone, but the iterative process means that Linux is rapidly approaching the point where users who don’t want to be that involved don’t have to dig so much to use the operating system. Sixteen or seventeen years ago, I had my first exposure to Emacs in the suggested editor that was bundled with Coherent. I next used it in Lucid Emacs on the Sun workstations in my computer science labs in college. From then on, in fits and starts, I’ve used emacs for most of my hacking. These “fits and starts” have gotten so bad that I’ve managed to get committer access to the Emacs CVS repository. In fact, until the past six months I was using it to read email and RSS. I’ve been re-thinking this and, when someone contacted me about problems with weblogger.el, I re-discovered what makes Emacs so fun is not its polish, but it humane interface. That, and its hackability. So, I’ve switched back to Emacs for editting my weblog and am already implementing some great new features in the emacs of my mind.

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